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toucan Syllabification: tou·can
Pronunciation: /ˈto͞oˌkan/

Definition of toucan in English:


A tropical American fruit-eating bird with a massive bill and typically brightly colored plumage.
  • Genera Ramphastos and Andigena, family Ramphastidae: several species
Example sentences
  • Mexico is home to toucans, vultures, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, parrots, macaws, and quetzals.
  • Of course, year-round residents also make their homes among the bright red coffee cherries, including jays, wood creepers, hummingbirds, toucans, parrots, parakeets and other species.
  • The quetzals have nowhere to go, so they nest in tree cavities within easy reach of the toucans who feast on quetzal eggs and chicks.


Mid 16th century: via French and Portuguese from Tupi tucan, imitative of its call.

  • pelican from Old English:

    The pelican has always been noted for its long bill and deep throat-pouch for scooping up fish. This distinctive feature probably gave the bird its name, which came from Greek pelekan, probably based on pelekus ‘axe’. In Britain a pelican crossing is a road crossing with traffic lights operated by pedestrians. The name, first used in 1966, was taken from the initial letters of the formal title, pedestrian light controlled crossing. Two other pedestrian crossings were given bird names by analogy with the pelican, the puffin (from pedestrian user-friendly intelligent), and toucan crossing. As bird names, puffin has a rather complicated history. It was used in Middle English for the Manx shearwater, probably from ‘puff, puffed up’, describing the shearwater's fat nestlings. As the two birds often nest together the name was then transferred to the bird we now call a puffin. Toucans, who first appeared in English in the mid 16th century, get their name from the language of the Amazonian Indians called the Tupi, and their name imitates their cry.

Words that rhyme with toucan

Lucan, lebkuchen
Definition of toucan in:
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