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Syllabification: cuck·oo
Pronunciation: /ˈko͞oko͞o
, ˈko͝oko͞o

Definition of cuckoo in English:


1A medium-sized long-tailed bird, typically with a gray or brown back and barred or pale underparts. Many cuckoos lay their eggs in the nests of small songbirds.
Example sentences
  • It is an important wintering ground for European migratory birds such as the white stork, the lesser kestrel, the Eurasian golden oriole, the Eurasian cuckoo and other wading birds.
  • The pheasant cuckoo is a bird that took Stauffer and me a succession of trips to locate.
  • The wet season (mid-June to early October) is hot and humid and the best time for flowering plants, amphibians, reptiles and intra-African migrant birds such as cuckoos.
2 informal A mad person.
Example sentences
  • Perhaps this explains that cuckoo '96 NBA offseason, which saw a handful of players land outrageous contracts.
  • It sure didn't take new Portland coach Mo Cheeks long to pick up the company line on resident cuckoo Rasheed Wallace.
  • If you honestly believe that had he been the prime minister, Britain would not have aided our closest ally the US in Iraq then I'm sorry, you're living in cuckoo land.


informal Back to top  
Mad; crazy: people think you’re cuckoo
More example sentences
  • Her anti-feminist manifesto is the final crazy coating on this already cuckoo confection.
  • India's policy-makers must emerge from their cuckoo world of neo-liberal economics and corporate-driven politics.
  • Any bad weather which came at the end of April or early May was dismissed as a mere cuckoo storm that would only last a day or two.


Middle English: from Old French cucu, imitative of its call.


cuckoo in the nest

An unwelcome intruder in a place or situation.
Example sentences
  • But what once looked like a fledgling of which they might be proud has turned into a cuckoo in the nest.
  • Where once Nato was about European protection, is it not now becoming the cuckoo in the nest of European ambitions?
  • At first Deakin seemed a cuckoo in the Berry nest - what would later be called a class traitor.

Definition of cuckoo in:

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