pelican

[pel-i-kuhn]
noun
1.
any of several large, totipalmate, fish-eating birds of the family Pelecanidae, having a large bill with a distensible pouch.
2.
a still or retort with two tubes that leave the body from the neck, curve in opposite directions, and reenter the body through the belly.

Origin:
before 1000; Middle English pellican, Old English < Late Latin pelicānus, variant of pelecān < Greek pelekā́n

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To pelican
Collins
World English Dictionary
pelican (ˈpɛlɪkən)
 
n
any aquatic bird of the tropical and warm water family Pelecanidae, such as P. onocrotalus (white pelican): order Pelecaniformes. They have a long straight flattened bill, with a distensible pouch for engulfing fish
 
[Old English pellican, from Late Latin pelicānus, from Greek pelekān; perhaps related to Greek pelekus axe, perhaps from the shape of the bird's bill; compare Greek pelekas woodpecker]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

pelican
O.E. pellicane, from L.L. pelecanus, from Gk. pelekan "pelican" (so used by Aristotle), apparently related to pelekas "woodpecker" and pelekys "ax," perhaps so called from the shape of the bird's bill. Used in Septuagint to translate Heb. qaath. The fancy that it feeds its young on its own blood is an
Egyptian tradition properly belonging to some other bird.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
For every pelican or whale found beached or floating at sea, some much larger number died.
The brown pelican nesting grounds are a critical part of the pelicans habitat.
Image for pelican
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;