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(Science: zoology) a wading bird of the genus Botaurus, allied to the herons, of various species.

The common European bittern is Botaurus stellaris. It makes, during the brooding season, a noise called by Dryden bumping, and by goldsmith booming. The American bittern is B. Lentiginosus, and is also called stake-driver and meadow hen. See stake-driver.

The name is applied to other related birds, as the least bittern (Ardetta exilis), and the sun bittern.

Origin: oe. Bitoure, betore, bitter, fr. F. Butor; of unknown origin.