kook·a·bur·ra | \ˈku̇-kə-ˌbər-ə, -ˌbə-rə\

Definition of kookaburra 

: a brownish kingfisher (Dacelo novaeguineae synonym D. gigas) of Australia that is about the size of a crow and has a call resembling loud laughter

called also laughing jackass

Examples of kookaburra in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

There is perhaps no better place to go bird-watching this holiday season - and no easier way to get so close to so many exotic flying creatures, including rhinoceros hornbills, Malayan flying fox fruit bats and laughing kookaburras. Susan Glaser, cleveland.com, "Bird-watching in Pittsburgh: National Aviary highlights unusual, intelligent feathered friends (photos)," 20 Dec. 2017 Bee-eaters, ospreys and kookaburras have similar eye-disguising patterns. The Economist, "PalaeontologyOne species of dinosaur wore a bandit mask," 26 Oct. 2017 Examples today include raccoons, ferrets, ospreys and kookaburras. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Bandit-masked, feathered dinosaur hid from predators and prey using camouflage," 26 Oct. 2017 The 10-acre ranch is home to more than 100 animals ranging from armadillos, cheetahs and wallabies to Siberian lynx, kookaburra and alligators. Linda Mcintosh, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Meet rare animals at Wild Wonders event," 17 May 2017 Shows may feature an eagle, a vulture, a condor, a crane or a kookaburra. Sheldon S. Shafer, The Courier-Journal, "Moms get in free to Louisville Zoo on Sunday," 9 May 2017 The final allegro came from a flock of cackling kookaburras outside my villa. George Epaminondas, WSJ, "Montauk Meets Malibu: Australia’s Eco-Chic Byron Bay," 13 Apr. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of kookaburra

1834, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kookaburra

Wiradhuri (Australian aboriginal language of central New South Wales) gugubarra

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about kookaburra

Share kookaburra

Dictionary Entries near kookaburra






Koolau Range


Statistics for kookaburra

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for kookaburra

The first known use of kookaburra was in 1834

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for kookaburra



English Language Learners Definition of kookaburra

: a large Australian bird whose call is like loud laughter


kook·a·bur·ra | \ˈku̇-kə-ˌbər-ə \

Kids Definition of kookaburra

: an Australian bird that has a call resembling loud laughter

More from Merriam-Webster on kookaburra

See words that rhyme with kookaburra

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about kookaburra

Comments on kookaburra

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


a state of commotion or excitement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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!