cou·​cal | \ ˈkükəl \
plural -s

Definition of coucal

: any of various large long-tailed, brown-and-black cuckoos (genus Centropus) of Africa, southern Asia, and Australia that resemble pheasants especially in plumage pattern and habits — see crow pheasant

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for coucal

French, perhaps from coucou cuckoo (of imitative origin) + alouette lark, from Old French aloete, diminutive of aloe, from Latin alauda, from Gaulish

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about coucal

Statistics for coucal

Cite this Entry

“Coucal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2020.

Comments on coucal

What made you want to look up coucal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!