Definition of moa in English:



  • A large extinct flightless bird resembling the emu, formerly found in New Zealand.

    Family Dinornithidae: several genera and species; Dinornis maximus was the tallest known bird, with a height of about 10 feet (3 m), but Megalapteryx didinus, which may have survived until the early 19th century, was much smaller

    ‘Ostriches, emus, cassowaries, rheas, kiwis, moas and elephant birds really are more closely related to each other than they are to any other birds.’
    • ‘Other ratites, the elephant bird of Madagascar and the moas of New Zealand, have been extinct for several centuries, probably as a result of human hunting.’
    • ‘Owen also identified New Zealand's giant flightless bird, the moa or dinornis, from a piece of shin just 15 cm long.’
    • ‘Some 200 pebbles, collectively weighing 2.5 kg were recovered from the gut region of a moa skeleton (extinct large flightless bird) in New Zealand.’
    • ‘The large, flightless moa bird that roamed New Zealand in ancient times grew much more slowly than modern birds, according to a new study of their bones.’



/ˈmōə/ /ˈmoʊə/


Mid 19th century from Maori.