rara avis


rara avis

noun, plural ra·rae a·ves [rair-ee ey-veez; Latin rahrahy ah-wes] /ˈrɛər i ˈeɪ viz; Latin ˈrɑ raɪ ˈɑ wɛs/.

  1. a rare person or thing; rarity.

noun plural rarae aves (ˈrɛəriː ˈeɪviːz)

  1. an unusual, uncommon, or exceptional person or thing
n.

c.1600, “peculiar person,” from Latin rara avis, literally “strange bird,” from rara, fem. of rarus “rare” (see rare (adj.1)) + avis “bird” (see aviary). Latin plural is raræ aves. Horace’s peacock (a Roman delicacy), Juvenal’s black swan (“Rara avis in terris, nigroque simillima cygno”).

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