Definition of jacana in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌZHäkəˈnä/ Pronunciation: /ˌjä-/
(alsojaçana /ˌZHäsəˈnä/ /ˌjä-/)


A small tropical wading bird with greatly elongated toes and claws that enable it to walk on floating vegetation. Also called lily-trotter.
  • FamilyJacanidae: several genera and species.
Example sentences
  • Large wading and diving birds seemed to be everywhere: great white egrets, great blue herons, green herons, tricolored herons, roseate spoonbills, anhingas, cormorants, and jacanas.
  • For decades, taxonomists couldn't agree whether to classify jacanas with rails or shorebirds; genetic studies now appear to confirm the latter.
  • When we came around the other side of the pond, someone spotted a jacana walking across the lily pads.


Mid 18th century: from Portuguese jaçanã, from Tupi-Guarani jasanã.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ja·ca·na

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