Cuckoo
Cuckoo Cuck"oo (k[oo^]k"[=oo]), n. [OE. coccou, cukkow, F. coucou, prob. of imitative origin; cf. L. cuculus, Gr. ????, Skr. k?ki?a, G. kuckuk, D. koekoek.] (Zo["o]l.) A bird belonging to {Cuculus}, {Coccyzus}, and several allied genera, of many species. [1913 Webster]

Note: The European cuckoo ({Cuculus canorus}) builds no nest of its own, but lays its eggs in the nests of other birds, to be hatched by them. The American yellow-billed cuckoo ({Coccyzus Americanus}) and the black-billed cuckoo ({Coccyzus erythrophthalmus}) build their own nests. [1913 Webster]

{Cuckoo clock}, a clock so constructed that at the time for striking it gives forth sounds resembling the cry of the cuckoo.

{Cuckoo dove} (Zo["o]l.), a long-tailed pigeon of the genus {Macropygia}. Many species inhabit the East Indies.

{Cuckoo fish} (Zo["o]l.), the European red gurnard ({Trigla cuculus}). The name probably alludes to the sound that it utters.

{Cuckoo falcon} (Zo["o]l.), any falcon of the genus {Baza}. The genus inhabits Africa and the East Indies.

{Cuckoo maid} (Zo["o]l.), the wryneck; -- called also {cuckoo mate}.

{Cuckoo ray} (Zo["o]l.), a British ray ({Raia miraletus}).

{Cuckoo spit}, or {Cuckoo spittle}. (a) A frothy secretion found upon plants, exuded by the larvae of certain insects, for concealment; -- called also {toad spittle} and {frog spit}. (b) (Zo["o]l.) A small hemipterous insect, the larva of which, living on grass and the leaves of plants, exudes this secretion. The insects belong to {Aphrophora}, {Helochara}, and allied genera.

{Ground cuckoo}, the chaparral cock. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cuckoo — [ko͞o′ko͞o΄; ] also [ kook′o͞o] n. [ME < OFr coucou, cucu, echoic of the bird s cry] 1. any of a family (Cuculidae, order Cuculiformes) of birds with a long, slender body, grayish brown on top and white below: many, including the European… …   English World dictionary

  • cuckoo — (n.) mid 13c., from O.Fr. cocu cuckoo, also cuckold, echoic of the male bird s mating cry (Cf. Gk. kokkyx, L. cuculus, M.Ir. cuach, Skt. kokilas). Slang sense of crazy (adj.) is American English, 1918, but noun meaning stupid person is first… …   Etymology dictionary

  • cuckoo — ► NOUN ▪ a grey or brown bird known for the two note call of the male and for the habit of laying its eggs in the nests of small songbirds. ► ADJECTIVE informal ▪ crazy. ORIGIN Old French cucu, imitative of its call …   English terms dictionary

  • Cuckoo — For other uses, see Cuckoo (disambiguation). Cuckoo s nest redirects here. For other uses, see Cuckoo s nest (disambiguation). Cuckoos Yellow billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) …   Wikipedia

  • cuckoo — /kooh kooh, kook ooh/, n., pl. cuckoos, v., cuckooed, cuckooing, adj. n. 1. a common European bird, Cuculus canorus, of the family Cuculidae, noted for its characteristic call and its brood parasitism. 2. any of several other birds of the family… …   Universalium

  • cuckoo — 1. adjective /ˈkʊkuː,ˈkuːkuː/ Crazy; not sane. 2. noun /ˈkʊkuː,ˈkuːkuː/ a) Any of various birds, of the family Cuculidae (from Latin cuculus cuckoo), famous for laying its eggs in the nests of other species; but especially the Common Cuckoo,… …   Wiktionary

  • cuckoo — /ˈkʊku / (say kookooh) noun 1. any of various birds of the widespread family Cuculidae, including the bronze cuckoos, many of which lay eggs in the nests of other birds which then raise the cuckoo s young, as the fan tailed cuckoo, Cacomantis… …   Australian English dictionary

  • cuckoo — n. & adj. n. any bird of the family Cuculidae, esp. Cuculus canorus, having a characteristic cry, and depositing its eggs in the nests of small birds. predic.adj. sl. crazy, foolish. Phrases and idioms: cuckoo clock a clock that strikes the hour… …   Useful english dictionary

  • cuckoo — cuck·oo || kÊŠkuː n. European songbird; bird related to the European cuckoo bird; call of the cuckoo bird characterized by two notes ; (Slang) crazy person, goofball, foolish person adj. of or pertaining to the cuckoo bird; resembling the… …   English contemporary dictionary

  • cuckoo — I. noun (plural cuckoos) Etymology: Middle English cuccu, of imitative origin Date: 13th century 1. a largely grayish brown European bird (Cuculus canorus) that is a parasite given to laying its eggs in the nests of other birds which hatch them… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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