: any of various large gregarious neotropical birds (family Cracidae) that are chiefly arboreal forest-dwellers and that somewhat resemble turkeys

Illustration of guan

Illustration of guan

Examples of guan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ground-foraging birds like guans can still hear the frogs’ calls. Lakshmi Supriya, Science | AAAS, 26 Sep. 2017 Ziegler observes butterflies and damselflies and bees that never descend to the ground, and dozens of species of birds: barbets, paradise tanagers, scarlet macaws that arrive in pairs, and fat, piping guans, which look like elegant turkeys. National Geographic, 29 Sep. 2016

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'guan.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


alteration of earlier quam, probably from Kuna (Chibchan language of Panama) kwama

First Known Use

1743, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of guan was in 1743

Dictionary Entries Near guan

Cite this Entry

“Guan.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/guan. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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