A mythological bird which was believed to live in the area of the Indian Ocean. Its name is sometimes spelled "rukh".

According to "The Thousand Nights and a Night", the roc was so large and powerful that it could carry a full-grown elephant or rhinoceros in each claw. A person's weight was so negligible that the roc wouldn't even notice if someone hitched along for a ride. The roc's egg was so colossal that it could be mistaken for a domed building made of ivory or alabaster.

Marco Polo claimed that the roc was native to Madagascar, but that's an awfully small island for such an awfully big bird.

Roc (?), n. [Ar. & Per. rokh or rukh. Cf. Rook a castle.]

A monstrous bird of Arabian mythology.

[Written also rock, and rukh.]

Brande & C.

 

© Webster 1913.

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