cock·​a·​too | \ ˈkä-kə-ˌtü How to pronounce cockatoo (audio) \
plural cockatoos

Definition of cockatoo

: any of various large noisy chiefly Australasian crested parrots (family Cacatuidae and especially genus Cacatua)

Illustration of cockatoo

Illustration of cockatoo

Examples of cockatoo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Wildlife experts worried that certain vulnerable species endemic to the island, such as the glossy black-cockatoo and a mouse-like marsupial known as the Kangaroo Island dunnart, might be lost forever. David Maurice Smith, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Great Koala Rescue Operation," 10 June 2020 The original dancing cockatoo video has been viewed more than 10 million times. Elizabeth Heath, Washington Post, "Go ahead and watch. Cute or funny animal videos can be good for you.," 26 June 2020 Lola the cockatoo’s field trip around the aquarium is an especially popular post. Leslie Hsu Oh, Outside Online, "Ocean Nerds, Check Out These Online Experiences," 27 Apr. 2020 About 30 percent of the population of a subspecies of the glossy black cockatoo, which is essentially extinct on the mainland and numbered about 500 on the island, is also gone, Mr. Dunlop said. Jamie Tarabay, New York Times, "There’s No Place Like Kangaroo Island. Can It Survive Australia’s Fires?," 4 Feb. 2020 In fact, members of the parrot family, like budgies and cockatoos, are even better at syncing their movements to a beat than chimpanzees are, wrote Dr. Hattori. Susan Pinker, WSJ, "Humans and Other Dancing Animals," 25 Jan. 2020 Numerous species, like the glossy black cockatoo and the Kangaroo Island dunnart, a tiny and impossibly cute carnivorous marsupial, have been brought back from the brink of extinction. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Planes Are Dropping Vegetables to Save Australia's Starving Animals," 13 Jan. 2020 Teixeira said careful conservation work over the past 25 years has seen the glossy black-cockatoo population increase from 150, but those gains have been wiped out in the space of a week. Nick Perry,, "Wildfires threaten unique critters on Australian ‘Galapagos’," 5 Jan. 2020 That largely is gone, as is most of the home of the glossy black cockatoo. oregonlive, "Australia, on fire, tries to save koalas, mitigate ‘animal apocalypse’," 16 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cockatoo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cockatoo

1634, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cockatoo

Dutch kaketoe, from Malay kakatua

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Time Traveler for cockatoo

Time Traveler

The first known use of cockatoo was in 1634

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Last Updated

23 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cockatoo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for cockatoo


How to pronounce cockatoo (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cockatoo

: a type of large parrot from Australia that has a large colorful bunch of feathers on top of its head


cock·​a·​too | \ ˈkä-kə-ˌtü How to pronounce cockatoo (audio) \
plural cockatoos

Kids Definition of cockatoo

: a large, noisy, and usually brightly colored crested parrot mostly of Australia

More from Merriam-Webster on cockatoo

Nglish: Translation of cockatoo for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about cockatoo

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