cuckoo

[koo-koo, kook-oo]
noun, plural cuckoos.
1.
a common European bird, Cuculus canorus, of the family Cuculidae, noted for its characteristic call and its brood parasitism.
2.
any of several other birds of the family Cuculidae.
3.
the call of the cuckoo, or an imitation of it.
4.
Slang. a crazy, silly, or foolish person; simpleton.
verb (used without object), cuckooed, cuckooing.
5.
to utter the call of the cuckoo or an imitation of it.
verb (used with object), cuckooed, cuckooing.
6.
to repeat monotonously.
adjective
7.
Slang. crazy; silly; foolish.
8.
of, relating to, or like a cuckoo.

Origin:
1200–50; Middle English cuc(c)u, cuccuk(e) (imitative); compare Latin cucūlus, French coucou, German Kuckuk, Dutch koekoek, Modern Greek koûko

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
cuckoo (ˈkʊkuː)
 
n , pl -oos
1.  any bird of the family Cuculidae, having pointed wings, a long tail, and zygodactyl feet: order Cuculiformes. Many species, including the European cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), lay their eggs in the nests of other birds and have a two-note call
2.  informal an insane or foolish person
 
adj
3.  informal insane or foolish
 
interj
4.  an imitation or representation of the call of a cuckoo
 
vb , -oos, -oos, -ooing, -ooed
5.  (tr) to repeat over and over
6.  (intr) to make the sound imitated by the word cuckoo
 
[C13: from Old French cucu, of imitative origin; related to German kuckuck, Latin cucūlus, Greek kokkux]

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

cuckoo
c.1240, from O.Fr. cucu, echoic of the male bird's mating cry (cf. Gk. kokkyx, L. cuculus, Skt. kokilas). Slang sense of "crazy" (adj.) is Amer.Eng. 1918, but noun meaning "stupid person" is first recorded 1581, perhaps from the bird's unvarying, oft-repeated call. The O.E. was geac, cognate with O.N.
gaukr, source of Scot. and northern Eng. gowk. The Gmc. words were presumably originally echoic, too, but had drifted in form and were replaced by the Fr. form. Cuckoo clock is from 1789.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Cuckoo definition


(Heb. shahaph), from a root meaning "to be lean; slender." This bird is mentioned only in Lev. 11:16 and Deut. 14:15 (R.V., "seamew"). Some have interpreted the Hebrew word by "petrel" or "shearwater" (Puffinus cinereus), which is found on the coast of Syria; others think it denotes the "sea-gull" or "seamew." The common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) feeds on reptiles and large insects. It is found in Asia and Africa as well as in Europe. It only passes the winter in Palestine. The Arabs suppose it to utter the cry _Yakub_, and hence they call it _tir el-Yakub_; i.e., "Jacob's bird."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

cuckoo

see cloud-cuckoo land.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
If one thinks that they as human beings are likely to follow this advice when you don't anyway one is living in cloud cuckoo land.
The city crammed with enough cuckoo clocks to test your nerves is finally up-to-the-minute too.
Cuckoo clocks, no matter when they chime, are almost always ominous.
Cloud computing is no longer a cloud cuckoo-land full of vaporware.
Idioms & Phrases
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