- any of numerous large, noisy, crested parrots of the genera Cacatua, Callocephalon, Calyptorhynchus, etc., of the Australasian region, having chiefly white plumage tinged with yellow, pink, or red: popular as a pet.
- a person who owns and works a small farm or ranch.
- Slang.a lookout posted by criminals or the operators of illegal gambling games.
Origin of cockatoo
Examples from the Web for cockatoo
It is the only American parrot which resembles the cockatoo of Australia.The Western World
This assertion may be proved by setting free a cockatoo in the plains of India.Birds of the Indian Hills
And are you still longing for your freedom so much, Cockatoo?
"I feel you are right there, Master Herbert," said the cockatoo.
"There is no need to be so angry, old lady," replied the cockatoo.
- any of various parrots of the genus Kakatoe and related genera, such as K. galerita (sulphur-crested cockatoo), of Australia and New Guinea. They have an erectile crest and most of them are light-coloured
- Australian and NZ a small farmer or settler
- Australian informal a lookout during some illegal activity
Word Origin and History for cockatoo
1610s, from Dutch kaketoe, from Malay kakatua, possibly echoic, or from kakak "elder brother or sister" + tua "old." Also cockatiel (1880), from Dutch diminutive kaketielje (1850), which is perhaps influenced by Portuguese. Spelling influenced by cock (n.1).