Definition of cockatoo in English:


Line breaks: cocka|too
Pronunciation: /kɒkəˈtuː


1A parrot with an erectile crest, found in Australia, eastern Indonesia, and neighbouring islands.
  • Family Cacatuidae (or Psittacidae): several genera and numerous species
More example sentences
  • Many parrots, macaws and cockatoos are also being driven close to extinction by international trade.
  • Surprisingly, parrots and cockatoos can get jealous of other pets, so if there's a new animal in the house be patient whilst your bird gets used to the newcomer.
  • When living at the hotel on Thursday Island in 1891 he installed a cage of parrots and cockatoos on the verandah.
2Australian /NZ informal A small-scale farmer.
3Australian /NZ informal A lookout posted by those engaged in illegal activity: he is alleged to act as cockatoo during these meetings
More example sentences
  • They say the louts are working in twos and watching as you leave to go fishing, with one acting as a cockatoo back along the wall, watching for other approaching vehicles.


mid 17th century: from Dutch kaketoe, from Malay kakatua, the spelling influenced by cock1. sense 2, sense 3 date from the 19th century.

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Pronunciation: dəˈmôrəˌlīz
cause (someone) to lose confidence or hope; dispirit