- any of several Old World cuckoos of the genus Centropus, having harsh-textured plumage and a long, daggerlike hind claw.
Origin of coucal
1805–15; < French, said to be equivalent to couc(ou) cuckoo + al(ouette) lark
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for coucal
The coucal or crow-pheasant, for example, is divided up into three local races.
The nest of the crow-pheasant or coucal is a massive structure, globular in shape, with the entrance at one side.A Bird Calendar for Northern India
But the sight of an insect on the lawn causes the coucal to throw dignity to the winds.Glimpses of Indian Birds
But for the fact that the brown wings do not match well with the rest of the plumage, I should call the coucal a handsome bird.
I have never actually observed it pick anything off a leaf, for the coucal is of a retiring disposition.
- any ground-living bird of the genus Centropus, of Africa, S Asia, and Australia, having long strong legs: family Cuculidae (cuckoos)
C19: from French, perhaps from couc (ou) cuckoo + al (ouette) lark