- any of several large, totipalmate, fish-eating birds of the family Pelecanidae, having a large bill with a distensible pouch.
- a still or retort with two tubes that leave the body from the neck, curve in opposite directions, and reenter the body through the belly.
Origin of pelican
Examples from the Web for pelican
Gang warlords, locked down in Super Maxes like Pelican Bay pass on instructions to thousands of followers.
Something can happen in Whittier this morning and by the afternoon the brothers in Pelican Bay know all about it.
At Pelican Bay, there are no windows, and there is no reason not to have windows.Extreme Solitary Confinement: What Did Bradley Manning Experience?
June 5, 2013
I returned the following year with The Pelican Brief, then The Client.John Grisham’s Favorite Bookstore: That One in Blytheville, Ark.
November 6, 2012
John Grisham is the bestselling novelist of The Firm and The Pelican Brief, among others.John Grisham's First Short Story: Part Two
October 26, 2009
"It was only to her own people she could do that," said the Pelican.
The Egret settled to her nest again and the Pelican went on with the story.
The Pelican by this time had got rid of her load of fish and settled herself for conversation.
The real cause of the excitement we soon learned was the arrival of the Pelican.The Long Labrador Trail
Fig. 148 is an illustration of the well-known emblem, the Pelican in her piety.Embroidery and Tapestry Weaving
- any aquatic bird of the tropical and warm water family Pelecanidae, such as P. onocrotalus (white pelican): order Pelecaniformes. They have a long straight flattened bill, with a distensible pouch for engulfing fish
Word Origin and History for pelican
Old English pellicane, from Late Latin pelecanus, from Greek pelekan "pelican" (so used by Aristotle), apparently related to pelekas "woodpecker" and pelekys "ax," perhaps so called from the shape of the bird's bill. Spelling influenced in Middle English by Old French pelican. Used in Septuagint to translate Hebrew qaath. The fancy that it feeds its young on its own blood is an Egyptian tradition properly belonging to some other bird. Louisiana has been known as the Pelican state at least since 1859.