Is there a word meaning "bird-like" in the same way that "arachnoid" means "spider-like" or "ichthyoid" means "fish-like"?

An example sentence involving this word would be: "The figure depicted in the cave painting had a [bird-like] appearance to it."

(I looked up the scientific name for birds, "aves", but if I naively try to add an "-oid" suffix I unfortunately arrive at "avoid".)

  • By the way, "arachnid" is not just a fancy synonym for "spider";  an arachnid is any of a group of small animals, similar to insects but with four pairs of legs, that include spiders, scorpions, ticks, and mites (Cambridge English Dictionary). – Scott Sep 29 '16 at 3:04

"Avian" is the usual adjective for bird-like. "Avine" and "volucrine" (though less common) also work.

  • Unfortunately, avian is also commonly used as a noun, so its use could cause confusion in some contexts. – Hot Licks Sep 29 '16 at 1:36
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    I know that you asked the question, so you must consider this answer at least adequate—but it really isn't very well documented. You could strengthen it by including dictionary definitions (with links to the source reference works) for the words you suggest. Please consider doing so. – Sven Yargs Sep 29 '16 at 1:40

Yly's answer of avian is probably best. However, ornithoid is another, rarer option that ends in -⁠oid, like arachnoid and ichthyoid. Merriam-Webster defines it as follows:

resembling a bird : birdlike

Avis is the Latin word for "bird" (aves is the plural). The adjective ending -(i)an is from Latin, and usually comes after a Latin root, although not always. The suffix -oid is from Greek, and usually comes after a Greek root. The Greek root for "bird" that is most commonly used in English is ornitho-.

A side note: as far as I know, the combining form associated with avis is in fact avi-, not just av-. So I think "avioid" would be preferable to "avoid" as an adjective derived from avis and the suffix -oid. I haven't found any dictionaries that list avioid, but I did come across an example online:

I was wondering, how prevalent are avioids in science fiction, especially in modern science fiction.

Kehaar, "rec.arts.sf-lovers" Google Group

  • Great find. Perfect. +1 – Richard Kayser Sep 29 '16 at 2:03
  • To me, this is a better answer than avian which means of or relating to birds which is different from bird-like. +1. – alwayslearning Sep 29 '16 at 17:51

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