Share this entry
jacana Syllabification: ja·ca·na
Pronunciation: /ˌZHäkəˈnä/ /ˌjä-/

Definition of jacana in English:


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.

Definition of jacana in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources