cuckoos; cuckooing; cuckooed

A cuckoo is a type of long-tailed bird that's known for laying its eggs in the nests of other birds. In the summer, you're most likely to see cuckoos in various parts of Europe.

The famous German cuckoo clock is named for the cuckoo bird, and the cuckoo sound the clock makes each hour imitates the call of the cuckoo. To make this call is also to cuckoo. Informally, you might refer to eccentric or crazy people or situations as cuckoo. Though this informal meaning is credited to American English, the word has been used to mean "stupid person" since at least the 1580s.

Definitions of cuckoo
  1. noun
    any of numerous European and North American birds having pointed wings and a long tail
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    Cuculus canorus, European cuckoo
    common cuckoo of Europe having a distinctive two-note call; lays eggs in the nests of other birds
    Coccyzus erythropthalmus, black-billed cuckoo
    North American cuckoo; builds a nest and rears its own young
    Geococcyx californianus, chaparral cock, roadrunner
    speedy largely terrestrial bird found from California and Mexico to Texas
    black tropical American cuckoo
    Old World ground-living cuckoo having a long dagger-like hind claw
    Centropus sinensis, crow pheasant
    common coucal of India and China
    Centropus phasianinus, pheasant coucal, pheasant cuckoo
    Australian bird with a tail like a pheasant
    type of:
    cuculiform bird
    birds having zygodactyl feet (except for the touracos)
  2. verb
    repeat monotonously, like a cuckoo repeats his call
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    type of:
    echo, repeat
    to say again or imitate
  3. noun
    a person who is an incompetent fool
    synonyms: bozo, fathead, goof, goofball, goose, zany
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    type of:
    fool, muggins, sap, saphead, tomfool
    a person who lacks good judgment
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘cuckoo'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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