Pelican in her piety
Pelican Pel"i*can, n. [F. p['e]lican, L. pelicanus, pelecanus, Gr. ?, ?, ?, the woodpecker, and also a water bird of the pelican kind, fr. ? to hew with an ax, akin to Skr. para[,c]u.] [Written also {pelecan}.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) Any large webfooted bird of the genus {Pelecanus}, of which about a dozen species are known. They have an enormous bill, to the lower edge of which is attached a pouch in which captured fishes are temporarily stored. [1913 Webster]

Note: The American white pelican ({Pelecanus erythrorhynchos}) and the brown species ({Pelecanus fuscus}) are abundant on the Florida coast in winter, but breed about the lakes in the Rocky Mountains and British America. [1913 Webster]

2. (Old Chem.) A retort or still having a curved tube or tubes leading back from the head to the body for continuous condensation and redistillation. [1913 Webster]

Note: The principle is still employed in certain modern forms of distilling apparatus. [1913 Webster]

{Frigate pelican} (Zo["o]l.), the frigate bird. See under {Frigate}.

{Pelican fish} (Zo["o]l.), deep-sea fish ({Eurypharynx pelecanoides}) of the order {Lyomeri}, remarkable for the enormous development of the jaws, which support a large gular pouch.

{Pelican flower} (Bot.), the very large and curiously shaped blossom of a climbing plant ({Aristolochia grandiflora}) of the West Indies; also, the plant itself.

{Pelican ibis} (Zo["o]l.), a large Asiatic wood ibis ({Tantalus leucocephalus}). The head and throat are destitute of feathers; the plumage is white, with the quills and the tail greenish black.

{Pelican in her piety} (in heraldry and symbolical art), a representation of a pelican in the act of wounding her breast in order to nourish her young with her blood; -- a practice fabulously attributed to the bird, on account of which it was adopted as a symbol of the Redeemer, and of charity.

{Pelican's foot} (Zo["o]l.), a marine gastropod shell of the genus {Aporrhais}, esp. {Aporrhais pes-pelicani} of Europe. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • pelican in her piety — (heraldry) A pelican with wings indorsed, feeding her young with her blood • • • Main Entry: ↑pelican …   Useful english dictionary

  • Pelican — Pel i*can, n. [F. p[ e]lican, L. pelicanus, pelecanus, Gr. ?, ?, ?, the woodpecker, and also a water bird of the pelican kind, fr. ? to hew with an ax, akin to Skr. para[,c]u.] [Written also {pelecan}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any large webfooted bird of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pelican fish — Pelican Pel i*can, n. [F. p[ e]lican, L. pelicanus, pelecanus, Gr. ?, ?, ?, the woodpecker, and also a water bird of the pelican kind, fr. ? to hew with an ax, akin to Skr. para[,c]u.] [Written also {pelecan}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any large webfooted… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pelican flower — Pelican Pel i*can, n. [F. p[ e]lican, L. pelicanus, pelecanus, Gr. ?, ?, ?, the woodpecker, and also a water bird of the pelican kind, fr. ? to hew with an ax, akin to Skr. para[,c]u.] [Written also {pelecan}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any large webfooted… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pelican ibis — Pelican Pel i*can, n. [F. p[ e]lican, L. pelicanus, pelecanus, Gr. ?, ?, ?, the woodpecker, and also a water bird of the pelican kind, fr. ? to hew with an ax, akin to Skr. para[,c]u.] [Written also {pelecan}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any large webfooted… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pelican's foot — Pelican Pel i*can, n. [F. p[ e]lican, L. pelicanus, pelecanus, Gr. ?, ?, ?, the woodpecker, and also a water bird of the pelican kind, fr. ? to hew with an ax, akin to Skr. para[,c]u.] [Written also {pelecan}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any large webfooted… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pelican — Taxobox name = Pelican image width = 240px image caption = Australian Pelican ( Pelecanus conspicillatus ). regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves ordo = Pelecaniformes familia = Pelecanidae familia authority = Rafinesque, 1815 genus …   Wikipedia

  • Frigate pelican — Pelican Pel i*can, n. [F. p[ e]lican, L. pelicanus, pelecanus, Gr. ?, ?, ?, the woodpecker, and also a water bird of the pelican kind, fr. ? to hew with an ax, akin to Skr. para[,c]u.] [Written also {pelecan}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any large webfooted… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Aporrhais pes-pelicani — Pelican Pel i*can, n. [F. p[ e]lican, L. pelicanus, pelecanus, Gr. ?, ?, ?, the woodpecker, and also a water bird of the pelican kind, fr. ? to hew with an ax, akin to Skr. para[,c]u.] [Written also {pelecan}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any large webfooted… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Aristolochia grandiflora — Pelican Pel i*can, n. [F. p[ e]lican, L. pelicanus, pelecanus, Gr. ?, ?, ?, the woodpecker, and also a water bird of the pelican kind, fr. ? to hew with an ax, akin to Skr. para[,c]u.] [Written also {pelecan}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any large webfooted… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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