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1. A small brownish bunting (Emberiza hortulana) of Eurasia and Africa, eaten as a delicacy.
2. Any of several American birds, such as the bobolink and the sora.

[French, from Provençal, gardener, ortolan, from Latin hortulānus, from hortulus, diminutive of hortus, garden; see gher- in Indo-European roots.]


1. (Animals) Also called: ortolan bunting a brownish Old World bunting, Emberiza hortulana, regarded as a delicacy
2. (Animals) any of various other small birds eaten as delicacies, esp the bobolink
[C17: via French from Latin hortulānus, from hortulus, diminutive of hortus garden]


(ˈɔr tl ən)

an Old World bunting, Emberiza hortulana, esteemed as a table delicacy.
[1625–60; < French, Middle French < Italian literally, gardener]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ortolan - brownish Old World bunting often eaten as a delicacyortolan - brownish Old World bunting often eaten as a delicacy
bunting - any of numerous seed-eating songbirds of Europe or North America
Emberiza, genus Emberiza - Old World buntings
References in classic literature ?
firmly through civilly insisted on ortolans, caviare, terrapin,
With this, he had likewise that distinguishing taste, which serves to direct men in their choice of the object or food of their several appetites; and this taught him to consider Sophia as a most delicious morsel, indeed to regard her with the same desires which an ortolan inspires into the soul of an epicure.
This," she remarked, with a little satisfied sigh as she selected an ortolan, "is a very satisfactory place to be carried off to.
Within an hour the guests were seated around a board which creaked under the great pasties and joints of meat, varied by those more dainty dishes in which the French excelled, the spiced ortolan and the truffled beccaficoes.
The venue says 'two of Belfast's noisiest bands THVS & Ortolans meet their North Coast counterparts, Little Arcadia & Black Wave.
Hume declared in 1742, "Nor is a porter less greedy of money, which he spends on bacon and brandy, than a courtier, who purchases champagne and ortolans [little songbirds rated a delicacy].