Definition of jacana in English:


Syllabification: ja·ca·na
Pronunciation: /ˌZHäkəˈnä, 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
    More 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.

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a small amount; a little