1. <zoology> A bird of prey of the Hawk family, belonging to the genus Buteo and related genera.

The Buteo vulgaris is the common buzzard of Europe. The American species (of which the most common are B. Borealis, B. Pennsylvanicus, and B. Lineatus) are usually called hen hawks. The rough-legged buzzard, or bee hawk, of Europe (Pernis apivorus) feeds on bees and their larvae, with other insects, and reptiles. The moor buzzard of Europe is Circus aeruginosus. See Turkey buzzard, and Carrion buzzard. Bald buzzard, the fishhawk or osprey. See Fishhawk.

2. A blockhead; a dunce. "It is common, to a proverb, to call one who can not be taught, or who continues obstinately ignorant, a buzzard." (Goldsmith)

Origin: O.E. Busard, bosard, F. Busard, fr. Buse, L. Buteo, a kind of falcon or hawk.

(01 Mar 1998)

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