kook·​a·​bur·​ra | \ ˈku̇-kə-ˌbər-ə How to pronounce kookaburra (audio) , -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 Australia’s poppy song was written with AI trained on previous Eurovision hits along with contributions from a neural network fed samples of noises made by koalas, kookaburras and Tasmanian devils. Amy Thomson, Bloomberg.com, 24 Apr. 2020 But in a fishing village thousands of miles away, where giant goannas scuttled through gumtrees and kookaburras laughed, my siblings were hunting for wild animal scat and leaping into the ocean. New York Times, 17 Jan. 2020 There are currently at least four species at the zoo whose native habitat is Australia: a bearded dragon lizard named Six, Dundee the kookaburra, a Fly River turtle named Penny and a pair of tawny frogmouth birds called Grover and Timrek. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 20 Feb. 2020 Back in our adult clothes, we were sent away with gifts of commemorative stuffed kookaburras. Sarah Lyall, New York Times, 13 Nov. 2019 And despite their sometimes-aggressive tendencies, the magpie was voted Australia’s ‘‘Bird of the Year’’ in a 2017 poll — ahead of the Australian white ibis and the laughing kookaburra. BostonGlobe.com, 17 Sep. 2019 Two kookaburras in a suburb of Australia were caught making love on a power line Wednesday afternoon until their untimely demise, which resulted in a power outage for around 1,000 homes. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, 16 June 2019 Happy Friday, spangled kookaburras, and welcome back to another edition of This Week in Timothée Chalamet. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, 14 Sep. 2018 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, 20 Dec. 2017 See More

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.

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

Learn More About kookaburra

Time Traveler for kookaburra

Time Traveler

The first known use of kookaburra was in 1834

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near kookaburra




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for kookaburra

Cite this Entry

“Kookaburra.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kookaburra. Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for kookaburra


kook·​a·​bur·​ra | \ ˈku̇-kə-ˌbər-ə How to pronounce kookaburra (audio) \

Kids Definition of kookaburra

: an Australian bird that has a call resembling loud laughter

More from Merriam-Webster on kookaburra

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about kookaburra


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
True or False

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

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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