Relating to or being any of a group of flightless birds having a flat breastbone without the keellike prominence characteristic of most flying birds.
A ratite bird, such as the ostrich or emu.
[From Latin ratītus, marked with the figure of a raft (in reference to the lack of the keellike prominence), from ratis, raft.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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