cuckoo

36 ENTRIES FOUND:

1cuck·oo

noun \ˈkü-(ˌ)kü, ˈk-\

: a type of bird that lays its eggs in the nests of other birds and that has a call that sounds like its name

plural cuckoos

Full Definition of CUCKOO

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 and rear the offspring; broadly :  any of a large family (Cuculidae of the order Cuculiformes) to which this bird belongs
2
:  the call of the cuckoo
3
:  a silly or slightly crackbrained person

Examples of CUCKOO

  1. <one cuckoo at the campground tried to boil soup in a plastic cup>
  2. <didn't want to be among those cuckoos who race around the mall the day before Christmas>

Illustration of CUCKOO

Origin of CUCKOO

Middle English cuccu, of imitative origin
First Known Use: 13th century

Other Birds Terms

aerie, bunting, clutch, covey, hackle, ratite, rictus, ruff, skein, zygodactyl

2cuckoo

verb

Definition of CUCKOO

transitive verb
:  to repeat monotonously as a cuckoo does its call

First Known Use of CUCKOO

1648

3cuckoo

adjective

: silly or crazy

: very enthusiastic

Full Definition of CUCKOO

1
:  of, relating to, or resembling the cuckoo
2
:  deficient in sense or intelligence :  silly

Examples of CUCKOO

  1. <a cuckoo woman who wandered around town carefully gathering up useless trash>
  2. <offered a completely cuckoo suggestion for using the defunct strip mall>

First Known Use of CUCKOO

1627

Other Birds Terms

aerie, bunting, clutch, covey, hackle, ratite, rictus, ruff, skein, zygodactyl

cuckoo

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Cuckoo (Cuculus).—Graeme Chapman/Ardea London

Any of some 138 species of tree-dwelling and terrestrial birds of the family Cuculidae. They are found worldwide in temperate and tropical regions but are most diverse in the Old World tropics. New World species are sometimes classified as a separate family (Coccyzidae) and include the roadrunner. Cuckoos range from 6.5 to 36 in. (16 to 90 cm) long. Most are drab gray, but a few are partially or completely brightly coloured or iridescent. Aside from the European cuckoo's familiar two-note call, cuckoos are best known for their habit of brood parasitism (see cowbird); their eggs resemble those of the host species (egg mimicry), and the adult cuckoo removes one or more host eggs to ensure that the substitution is not detected. The newly hatched cuckoo may also eject eggs or nestlings.

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