Search Result for "secretary bird":
Wordnet 3.0

NOUN (1)

1. large long-legged African bird of prey that feeds on reptiles;
[syn: secretary bird, Sagittarius serpentarius]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Secretary \Sec"re*ta*ry\, n.; pl. Secretaries. [F. secr['e]taire (cf. Pr. secretari, Sp. & Pg. secretario, It. secretario, segretario) LL. secretarius, originally, a confidant, one intrusted with secrets, from L. secretum a secret. See Secret, a. & n.] 1. One who keeps, or is intrusted with, secrets. [R.] [1913 Webster] 2. A person employed to write orders, letters, dispatches, public or private papers, records, and the like; an official scribe, amanuensis, or writer; one who attends to correspondence, and transacts other business, for an association, a public body, or an individual. [1913 Webster] That which is most of all profitable is acquaintance with the secretaries, and employed men of ambassadors. --Bacon. [1913 Webster] 3. An officer of state whose business is to superintend and manage the affairs of a particular department of government, and who is usually a member of the cabinet or advisory council of the chief executive; as, the secretary of state, who conducts the correspondence and attends to the relations of a government with foreign courts; the secretary of the treasury, who manages the department of finance; the secretary of war, etc. [1913 Webster] 4. A piece of furniture, with conveniences for writing and for the arrangement of papers; an escritoire. [1913 Webster] 5. (Zool.) The secretary bird. [1913 Webster] Secretary bird. [So called in allusion to the tufts of feathers at the back of its head, which were fancifully thought to resemble pens stuck behind the ear.] (Zool.) A large long-legged raptorial bird (Gypogeranus serpentarius), native of South Africa, but now naturalized in the West Indies and some other tropical countries. It has a powerful hooked beak, a crest of long feathers, and a long tail. It feeds upon reptiles of various kinds, and is much prized on account of its habit of killing and devouring snakes of all kinds. Called also serpent eater. [1913 Webster] Syn: See the Note under Clerk, n., 4. [1913 Webster]




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