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[zhah-suh-nah, jah-] /ˌʒɑ səˈnɑ, ˌdʒɑ-/
any of several tropical, ploverlike, aquatic birds of the family Jacanidae, most of them having extremely long toes and claws for walking on floating water plants.
Also called lily-trotter.
Origin of jaçana
1640-50; < Portuguese jaçanã < Tupi jasaná Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for jacana
Historical Examples
  • The most singular character of the jacana is its long toes and claws.

    The Forest Exiles Mayne Reid
  • There are several species of “jacana” in South America, and also some species in the tropical countries of the East.

    The Forest Exiles Mayne Reid
  • The jacana belongs to a small family of birds with representatives throughout the tropics.

British Dictionary definitions for jacana


/ˌʒɑːsəˈnɑː; ˌdʒæ-/
any bird of the family Jacanidae, of tropical and subtropical marshy regions, having long legs and very long toes that enable walking on floating plants: order Charadriiformes Also called lily-trotter
Word Origin
C18: from Portuguese jaçanã, from Tupi-Guarani jasaná
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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