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[muh-kaw] /məˈkɔ/
any of various large, long-tailed parrots, chiefly of the genus Ara, of tropical and subtropical America, noted for their brilliant plumage and harsh voice.
Origin of macaw
1660-70; < Portuguese macao, macau < Tupi makʾo Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for macaw
  • One could hardly call him a crimson macaw among owls, and yet no ordinary contrast availed.
  • And has even nudged tha back door open and come inside to visit our macaw.
  • Live butterflies clung to curtains in the foyer and a screeching red macaw perched on a wooden sculpture.
  • Caiman continues to house scientific teams, and guests can participate in jaguar and hyacinth macaw research projects.
  • It's home to several endangered species, including the scarlet macaw, and the focus of much conservation work.
  • Meet a yellow-collared macaw and learn about this and other tropical forest species.
British Dictionary definitions for macaw


any large tropical American parrot of the genera Ara and Anodorhynchus, having a long tail and brilliant plumage
Word Origin
C17: from Portuguese macau, of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for macaw

species of large, long-tailed birds, 1660s, from Portuguese macau, from a word in a Brazilian language, perhaps Tupi macavuana, which may be the name of a type of palm tree the fruit of which the birds eat.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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