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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ It is delightful to imagine Gould being invited in among the thatched huts to watch the famous emu dance.
▪ Let me emus go loose, Lou.
▪ Other hatchings of interest were two straw-necked ibis, three scarlet ibis, three rhea and three emu.
▪ So let me emus go loose.
▪ You can get a pair of emus these days for as little as $ 500.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Emu \E"mu\, n. [Cf. Pg. ema ostrich, F. ['e]mou, ['e]meu, emu.] (Zo["o]l.) A large Australian bird, of two species ( Dromaius Nov[ae]-Hollandi[ae] and D. irroratus), related to the cassowary and the ostrich. The emu runs swiftly, but is unable to fly. [Written also emeu and emew.]

Note: The name is sometimes erroneously applied, by the Brazilians, to the rhea, or South American ostrich.

Emu wren. See in the Vocabulary.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

large Australian three-toed bird, 1610s, probably from Portuguese ema "crane, ostrich" (which is of unknown origin), perhaps based on a folk-etymology of a native name.


abbr. 1 electromagnetic unit. 2 (context computing video games informal English) emulator n. A large flightless bird native to Australia, ''Dromaius novaehollandiae''.

  1. n. any of various systems of units for measuring electricity and magnetism [syn: electromagnetic unit]

  2. large Australian flightless bird similar to the ostrich but smaller [syn: Dromaius novaehollandiae, Emu novaehollandiae]


The emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) is the second-largest living bird by height, after its ratite relative, the ostrich. It is endemic to Australia where it is the largest native bird and the only extant member of the genus Dromaius. The emu's range covers most of mainland Australia, but the Tasmanian emu and King Island emu subspecies became extinct after the European settlement of Australia in 1788. The bird is sufficiently common for it to be rated as a least-concern species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Emus are soft-feathered, brown, flightless birds with long necks and legs, and can reach up to in height. Emus can travel great distances, and when necessary can sprint at ; they forage for a variety of plants and insects, but have been known to go for weeks without eating. They drink infrequently, but take in copious amounts of water when the opportunity arises.

Breeding takes place in May and June, and fighting among females for a mate is common. Females can mate several times and lay several clutches of eggs in one season. The male does the incubation; during this process he hardly eats or drinks and loses a significant amount of weight. The eggs hatch after around eight weeks, and the young are nurtured by their fathers. They reach full size after around six months, but can remain as a family unit until the next breeding season. The emu is an important cultural icon of Australia, appearing on the coat of arms and various coins. The bird features prominently in Indigenous Australian mythology.

Emu (disambiguation)

The emu is a large, flightless bird.

Emu (puppet)

Emu is a puppet emu given to British entertainer Rod Hull in the 1960s while he was presenting a children's breakfast television programme in Australia. Hull adopted the mute puppet for his cabaret act, and took it with him to the United Kingdom when he returned in 1970. The character was given a mischievous and sometimes aggressive onstage persona, attacking celebrity guests (and Hull himself) for comic effect. Hull and Emu also appeared on several episodes of The Hudson Brothers' comedy show in the United States.

Emu (beer)

Emu is a beer brand name now owned by Lion. It was originally brewed by the Emu Brewery in 1908 until the brewery's sale to the Swan Brewery in 1927. The production of the Emu branded beer continued from a separate autonomous brewery in Perth until 1978, and then was relocated to a combined brewery in Canning Vale. In 2014 Lion Nathan moved production of both the Emu and Swan beer brands to the company's West End Brewery in South Australia.

Emu (journal)

Emu, subtitled Austral Ornithology, is the peer-reviewed scientific journal of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union. The journal was established in 1901 and is the oldest ornithological journal published in Australia. The current editor-in-chief is Kate Buchanan ( Deakin University). The journal is published quarterly for the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union in print and online by CSIRO Publishing. According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2012 impact factor of 1.895, ranking it 4th out of 22 journals in the category "Ornithology".

Usage examples of "emu".

Anoshi and Bap were dressed in the undersuiting that went with their spacesuits, including even biomedical sensors and the semi-bulky EMU urine collection systems about their crotches and waists.

Nevertheless, they saw, though unable to get near them, a couple of those large birds peculiar to Australia, a sort of cassowary, called emu, five feet in height, and with brown plumage, which belong to the tribe of waders.

She was a genyornis, a giant flightless bird twice the size of an emu.

By the window, the articulated skeleton of an emu posed amid the frondage, one leg raised.

Not Emu, or Goanna Lizard, or Kangaroo, not a Rainbow Serpent nor a Sky-God nor any of the Ancestors who were here in the Dreamtime.

I thank you: Blaxland did everything that was kind and hospitable - he desires his best compliments, by the way - and we saw the emu, various kinds of kangaroo, the echidna - good Lord, the echidnal - the small fat grey animal that sleeps high up in gum-trees and that very absurdly claims to be a bear, a great many of the parrot tribe, a nameless monitory lizard, all that we had hoped to see and more, except for the platypus.

Jack, To whaur the emus bide, Ye shall find the auld hen on the nest, While the auld cock sits beside.

I took it outside and tramped around behind our fence until I was satisfied there were no emus lurking about.

By 1993, flocks of emus and ostriches ranging from a half dozen to several hundred birds were roaming through the hills destroying property and occasionally slicing or trampling people and livestock to death.

Still more deaths resulted as many of the bullets and shotgun blasts intended for the tiny heads of emus instead hit the people being attacked.

Australians learned the same lesson in 1932, when troops armed with machine guns and artillery attempted to destroy a flock of twenty thousand emus that was devouring Western Australian crops.

The campaign failed, however, when the besieged emus split their army into squads and adopted guerrilla tactics.

The weapons had initially been designed for use against emus only, but then a representative from Dripping Springs rose to point out that ostriches, while fewer in number, had also caused plenty of trouble.

Camels, he insisted, were far more hostile to man than either emus or ostriches --and if the so-called emu pistols did not include a setting for camels, he would block the appropriation for their manufacture.

We stood like emus, listening to him all through one verse, then we pulled ourselves together.