- 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.
Origin of jaçana
1640–50; < Portuguese jaçanã < Tupi jasaná
Also called lily-trotter.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for jacana
The most singular character of the jacana is its long toes and claws.
There are several species of “jacana” in South America, and also some species in the tropical countries of the East.
The Jacana belongs to a small family of birds with representatives throughout the tropics.Color Key to North American Birds
Frank M. Chapman
- 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 CharadriiformesAlso called: lily-trotter
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