Cuck"oo (k??k"??), n. [OE. coccou, cukkow, F. coucou, prob. of imitative origin; cf. L. cuculus, Gr. , Skr. kkia, G. kuckuk, D. koekoek.] Zool.
A bird belonging to Cuculus, Coccyzus, and several allied genera, of many species.
⇒ The European cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) builds no nest of its own, but lays its eggs in the nests of other birds, to be hatched by them. The American yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus Americanus) and the black-billed cuckoo (C. erythrophthalmus) build their own nests.
Cuckoo bee Zool., a bee, parasitic in the larval stage in the nests of other bees, feeding either upon their food or larvae. They belong to the genera Nomada, Melecta, Epeolus, and others. -- Cuckoo clock, a clock so constructed that at the time for striking it gives forth sounds resembling the cry of the cuckoo. -- Cuckoo dove Zool., a long-tailed pigeon of the genus Macropygia. Many species inhabit the East Indies. -- Cuckoo fish Zool., the European red gurnard (Trigla cuculus). The name probably alludes to the sound that it utters. -- Cuckoo falcon Zool., any falcon of the genus Baza. The genus inhabits Africa and the East Indies. -- Cuckoo maid Zool., the wryneck; -- called also cuckoo mate. -- Cuckoo ray Zool., a British ray (Raia miraletus). -- Cuckoo spit, ∨ Cuckoo spittle. (a) A frothy secretion found upon plants, exuded by the larvae of certain insects, for concealment; -- called also toad spittle and frog spit. (b) Zool. A small hemipterous insect, the larva of which, living on grass and the leaves of plants, exudes this secretion. The insects belong to Aphrophora, Helochara, and allied genera. -- Ground cuckoo, the chaparral cock.
© Webster 1913.