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Pronounced /rəˈsɔərɪəl/Help with pronunciation

A rasorial bird is one that scratches the ground for food.

In addition to the big game mentioned, the native ruffed grouse is of much significance to the wing shooter. This important member of the rasorial family of birds is found in abundance throughout the whole of this mountain country and also rightly deserves a place in the chapters to follow.

Hunting and Fishing in the Great Smokies, by Jim Gasque, 1948.

If you see a connection with razor, you’re right, because both words go back to a Latin original radere, meaning to scrape. The word derives immediately from the name Rasores that was given in 1811 to the group of birds, not only grouse but also turkeys, partridges and farmyard fowls, which obtain their food by scraping the ground. It is first recorded in 1833.

Rasorial has appeared, rather rarely, as an adjective relating to a rasor:

Everything we wear, even on our faces, makes a statement. Designer stubble could be taken to proclaim: “I am a trendy boy who does not bother with old fashioned rasorial conventions.” Jeeves, and older perfectionists, would consider it slack and rude.

The Times, 24 Feb. 2007.

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Page created 04 Jul 1998; Last updated 07 Jan 2012