|—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|
|3.||informal insane or foolish|
|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]|
(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."
see cloud-cuckoo land.