Definition of ortolan in English:

ortolan

(also ortolan bunting)

noun

  • A small Eurasian songbird that was formerly eaten as a delicacy, the male having an olive-green head and yellow throat.

    Emberiza hortulana, family Emberizidae (subfamily Emberizinae)

    • ‘The ortolan was so prized as a delicacy that it was almost hunted into extinction.’
    • ‘Dali was quite impressed, though he said he himself only ate ‘food with faces’ which meant fish and ortolans.’
    • ‘Like Otto's thin-crusted, griddle-cooked pizza, possibly the most controversial foodstuff to hit Gotham since Le Cirque's ortolans.’
    • ‘After their heads have been cut or bitten off, ortolans are eaten whole (bones and all) from underneath a napkin - to hide the shame of such cruelty and gluttony from the sight of God.’
    • ‘We used our data to test whether long-distance movements in the ortolan bunting occurred before males became territorial (natal dispersal) or during adult life (breeding dispersal).’

Origin

Early 16th century from French, from Provençal, literally ‘gardener’, based on a diminutive of Latin hortus ‘garden’.

Pronunciation

ortolan

/ˈɔːt(ə)lən/