Any of various large, long-legged Old World game birds of the family Otididae that nest on the ground and frequent dry grassy plains.
[Middle English, from blend of Old French bistarde and Old French oustarde, both from Latin avis tarda, bustard, literally “slow bird” : avis, bird; see awi- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + tarda, feminine of tardus, slow (so called for unknown reasons, since bustards are swift runners; the Latin term avis tarda is said by Pliny the Elder to have originated in the Roman provinces of the Iberian Peninsula, and it is thus perhaps a folk-etymological alteration of a local term in an unknown pre-Roman language).]
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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:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.