pelican

noun pel·i·can \ ˈpe-li-kən \
Updated on: 12 Nov 2017

Definition of pelican

: any of a genus (Pelecanus) of large web-footed fish-eating birds with a very large bill and distensible gular pouch

Recent Examples of pelican from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of pelican

Middle English, from Old English pellican, from Late Latin pelecanus, from Greek pelekan



PELICAN Defined for English Language Learners

pelican

noun

Definition of pelican for English Language Learners

  • : a large ocean bird that has a large bag that is part of its lower bill for catching and holding fish


PELICAN Defined for Kids

pelican

noun pel·i·can \ ˈpe-li-kən \

Definition of pelican for Students

: a large bird with webbed feet and a very large bill having a pouch on the lower part used to scoop in fish for food


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