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- 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.
- Family Cuculidae (the cuckoo family): numerous genera and species, especially the (Eurasian) cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), the male of which has a well-known two-note call. The cuckoo family also includes the coucals, roadrunners, and anis
Middle English: from Old French cucu, imitative of its call