from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- adj. In heraldry, starting up, as from being roused or alarmed: noting a bird in the attitude of rising, as if preparing to take flight. When applied to a swan it is understood that the wings are indorsed. Also spelled roussant.
Rousant, a term for a bird rising as if preparing to take wing, but whose weight of body prevents it from rising into the air as swans, etc.
Birds represented as about to take wing are blazoned rising, or roussant, when flying aloft, soaring, or volant; when the wings of a bird are close to its body it is said to be close.
This word comes from ‘rouse,’ which comes from the Middle English ‘rousen,’ to shake the feathers: used of a hawk.