From Middle English cokkou, probably from Old French cucu (whence French coucou); ultimately onomatopoeic of the song of the male Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), perhaps via Latin cucūlus (“cuckoo”). Displaced native Old English ġēac (> modern dialect yek (“cuckoo”)).
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈkʊk.uː/
- (US) IPA(key): /ˈkuː.kuː/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ʊkuː, -uːkuː
- Hyphenation: cuc‧koo
cuckoo (countable and uncountable, plural cuckoos)
- Any of various birds, of the family Cuculidae, famous for laying its eggs in the nests of other species; but especially a common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), that has a characteristic two-note call.
- c. 1596–1598 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene i]:
- He knows me, as the blind man knows the cuckoo, / By the bad voice.
- The sound of that particular bird.
- The bird-shaped figure found in cuckoo clocks.
- The cuckoo clock itself.
- A person who inveigles themselves into a place where they should not be (used especially in the phrase a cuckoo in the nest).
- (slang) Someone who is crazy.
- Alternative form of coo-coo (“Barbadian food”)
- black cuckoo-shrike
- brush cuckoo
- channel-bill cuckoo
- channel-billed cuckoo
- cloud cuckoo land
- cloud cuckoo-land
- cuckoo catfish
- cuckoo clock
- cuckoo dove
- cuckoo hashing
- cuckoo pint
- cuckoo roller
- cuckoo shrike (Campephagidae spp.)
- cuckoo sign
- cuckoo spit
- cuckoo wasp
- cuckoo-dove (Columbinae spp.)
- cuckoo-pint (“Arum italicum”)
- cuckoo's egg
- drongo cuckoo
- Jacobin cuckoo
- little bronze cuckoo
- Philippine cuckoo-dove
- pied crested cuckoo
- pied cuckoo
- rufous-vented ground-cuckoo
- cuculine (rare)
cuckoo clock — See also translations at cuckoo clock
someone crazy — See also translations at crazy
cuckoo (third-person singular simple present cuckoos, present participle cuckooing, simple past and past participle cuckooed)
- To make the call of a cuckoo.
- To repeat something incessantly. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
- Synonym: parrot
to make the call of a cuckoo
to repeat something incessantly
cuckoo (comparative more cuckoo, superlative most cuckoo)