bittern








noun

  1. any of several tawny brown herons that inhabit reedy marshes, as Botaurus lentiginosus (American bittern), of North America, and B. stellaris, of Europe.
  2. any of several small herons of the genus Ixobrychus, as I. exilis (least bittern), of temperate and tropical North and South America.

noun Chemistry.

  1. a bitter solution remaining in salt making after the salt has crystallized out of seawater or brine, used as a source of bromides, iodides, and certain other salts.

noun

  1. any wading bird of the genera Ixobrychus and Botaurus, related and similar to the herons but with shorter legs and neck, a stouter body, and a booming call: family Ardeidae, order Ciconiiformes

noun

  1. the bitter liquid remaining after common salt has been crystallized out of sea water: a source of magnesium, bromine, and iodine compounds
n.

heron-like bird, 13c., botor, from Old French butor “bittern,” perhaps from Gallo-Romance *butitaurus, from Latin butionem “bittern” + taurus “bull” (see steer (n.)); according to Pliny, so called because of its booming voice, but this seems fanciful. Modern form from 1510s.

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