cuckoo

noun
cuck·​oo | \ ˈkü-(ˌ)kü How to pronounce cuckoo (audio) , ˈku̇- How to pronounce cuckoo (audio) \
plural cuckoos

Definition of cuckoo

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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

cuckoo

verb
cuckooed; cuckooing; cuckoos

Definition of cuckoo (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to repeat monotonously as a cuckoo does its call

cuckoo

adjective

Definition of cuckoo (Entry 3 of 3)

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

Illustration of cuckoo

Illustration of cuckoo

Noun

cuckoo 1

In the meaning defined above

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Synonyms & Antonyms for cuckoo

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of cuckoo in a Sentence

Noun one cuckoo at the campground tried to boil soup in a plastic cup didn't want to be among those cuckoos who race around the mall the day before Christmas Adjective a cuckoo woman who wandered around town carefully gathering up useless trash offered a completely cuckoo suggestion for using the defunct strip mall
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As dawn broke and the rising sun lit the top of the canopy, the cuckoo finally arrived to investigate. New York Times, 12 Jan. 2021 The cuckoo’s numbers have been shrinking in recent years, but conservation scientists are unsure why. New York Times, 12 Jan. 2021 Jay Qualman is a rare bird in the Detroit jungle: a purebred car cuckoo who nests in the high branches of the automobile business. Rich Ceppos, Car and Driver, 27 Nov. 2020 According to Johnson, who has surveyed the bird throughout the state, the cuckoo most commonly nests along the Verde River, Oak Creek and the Lower Colorado River. Anton L. Delgado, The Arizona Republic, 23 Sep. 2020 As researchers tracked his flight over 27 countries, a cuckoo became a celebrity and raised questions about how climate change could affect his species’ travel. Rebecca Ratcliffe, Wired, 4 July 2020 Shiki took his pen name from the cuckoo, whose song is said to resemble the sound of someone coughing up blood. Christopher Benfey, The New York Review of Books, 25 June 2020 After that cuckoo bananas ending that included a pregnancy and the biggest exclusive that New York Times writer has ever gotten, this episode starts with the most ear-piercing alarm. Shannon Carlin, refinery29.com, 24 June 2020 The young cuckoo wasp eats the nest’s rightful occupant and its food store. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Hashtag patriots are cobbling together a legend around Maricopa that fits into the cuckoo mythology of Trumpism. Author: Dan Zak, Anchorage Daily News, 23 May 2021 Hashtag patriots are cobbling together a legend around Maricopa that fits into the cuckoo mythology of Trumpism. Author: Dan Zak, Anchorage Daily News, 23 May 2021 Hashtag patriots are cobbling together a legend around Maricopa that fits into the cuckoo mythology of Trumpism. Dan Zak, Washington Post, 21 May 2021 In the gleefully hammy hothouse thriller Run (on Hulu Nov. 20) the Ratched star turns up as another kind of cuckoo caretaker with a client base of one: her disabled teenage daughter, Chloe (bright newcomer Kiera Allen, who also uses a wheelchair). Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, 18 Nov. 2020 This image of two wasps—a cuckoo wasp and a sand wasp—entering their neighboring nests in a sandy part of Normandy, France, was created on more than just a stroke of luck. Rachael Zisk, Popular Science, 20 Oct. 2020 Frank Deschandol's original aim was to photograph the vibrant cuckoo wasp. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 14 Oct. 2020 The young cuckoo wasp eats the nest’s rightful occupant and its food store. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Apr. 2020 There are two species of roadrunners in the cuckoo family, the greater and lesser roadrunner, and both live in North America. Shaena Montanari, The Arizona Republic, 3 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cuckoo.' 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 cuckoo

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1648, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1627, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cuckoo

Noun

Middle English cuccu, of imitative origin

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Time Traveler for cuckoo

Time Traveler

The first known use of cuckoo was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Cuckoo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cuckoo. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for cuckoo

cuckoo

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cuckoo

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

cuckoo

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of cuckoo (Entry 2 of 2)

informal + old-fashioned
: silly or crazy
: very enthusiastic

cuckoo

noun
cuck·​oo | \ ˈkü-kü How to pronounce cuckoo (audio) , ˈku̇- \
plural cuckoos

Kids Definition of cuckoo

1 : a grayish brown European bird that lays eggs in the nests of other birds which hatch and raise them
2 : the call of the cuckoo

More from Merriam-Webster on cuckoo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cuckoo

Nglish: Translation of cuckoo for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cuckoo

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