Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A bovine mammal (Bison bison) of western North America, having large forequarters, a shaggy mane, and a massive head with short curved horns; a buffalo.
  • n. An animal (B. bonasus) of Europe, similar to but somewhat smaller than the bison; a wisent.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A wild ox, Bison bonasus.
  • n. A similar American animal, Bison bison else Bos americanus or Bisonte americano; also called a buffalo.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The aurochs or European bison.
  • n. The American bison buffalo (Bison Americanus), a large, gregarious bovine quadruped with shaggy mane and short black horns, which formerly roamed in herds over most of the temperate portion of North America, but by 1900 was restricted to very limited districts in the region of the Rocky Mountains, and was almost hunted to extinction.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The aurochs, or bonasus, a European wild ox: hence applied to several similar animals, recent and extinct.
  • n. Bison or Bos americanus, improperly called the buffalo, an animal which formerly ranged over most of the United States and much of British America in countless numbers, now reduced to probably a few thousands, and apparently soon to become extinct as a wild animal.
  • n. [capitalized] [NL.] A genus or subgenus of the family Bovidæ, including the aurochs, B. bonasus (see cut under aurochs), the American bison, B. americanus, and several related fossil species, as B. latifrons.
  • n. A name applied by Indian sportsmen to the gaur, Bibos (or Gavæus) gaurus, in distinction to ‘buffalo,’ which is used for Bos buffelus.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of several large humped bovids having shaggy manes and large heads and short horns

Etymologies

Latin bisōn, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German wisunt.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English bisontes (plural), from Latin bisōn, bisōnt- ("wild ox"), from Proto-Germanic *wisundaz (“wild ox, aurochs”), from Proto-Indo-European *wisAn- (“aurochs, aurochs horn”), from Proto-Indo-European *weys- (“to flow, melt”). Akin to Old High German wisunt "bison" (German Wisent "bison"), Old English wesend, wusend "bison, buffalo, wild ox", Middle Dutch wēsent "wild ox". (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Heh heh

    October 8, 2011

  • *snort*

    October 7, 2011

  • A bison is what an Australian washes his face in.

    October 7, 2011

  • I had my first glimpse of the bison on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake yesterday.

    April 24, 2011