curlew

[kur-loo]

noun

any of several shorebirds of the genus Numenius, having a long, slender, downcurved bill, as the common N. arquata, of Europe.
any of various similar birds.

Nearby words

  1. curl one's hair,
  2. curl up,
  3. curled paperwork,
  4. curledly,
  5. curler,
  6. curlew sandpiper,
  7. curley,
  8. curley, james michael,
  9. curli,
  10. curlicue

Origin of curlew

1300–50; Middle English < Anglo-French curleu, cognate with Middle French corleu; perhaps imitative

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for curlew


British Dictionary definitions for curlew

curlew

noun

any large shore bird of the genus Numenius, such as N. arquata of Europe and Asia: family Scolopacidae (sandpipers, etc), order Charadriiformes. They have a long downward-curving bill and occur in northern and arctic regionsCompare stone curlew

Word Origin for curlew

C14: from Old French corlieu, perhaps of imitative origin

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

Word Origin and History for curlew

curlew

n.

mid-14c., from Old French courlieu (13c., Modern French courlis), said to be imitative of the bird's cry but apparently assimilated with corliu "runner, messenger," from corre "to run" (see current (adj.)). The bird is a good runner.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper