kookaburra

[ koo k-uh-bur-uh, -buhr-uh ]
/ ˈkʊk əˌbɜr ə, -ˌbʌr ə /

noun

an Australian kingfisher, Dacelo gigas, having a loud, harsh cry that resembles laughter.

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Also called laughing jackass.

Origin of kookaburra

First recorded in 1885–90, kookaburra is from the Wiradjuri word gugubarra (imitative)

Words nearby kookaburra

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for kookaburra

  • The kookaburra is about the size of an owl, of a mottled grey colour.

  • To start off with, they had an unpleasant scene with a Kookaburra, a low larrikin who resented the way that Bill examined him.

    The Magic Pudding|Norman Lindsay
  • The kookaburra seems to find much grim fun in this world, and is always disturbing the Bush quiet with its curious “laughter.”

British Dictionary definitions for kookaburra

kookaburra
/ (ˈkʊkəˌbʌrə) /

noun

Also called: laughing jackass a large arboreal Australian kingfisher, Dacelo novaeguineae (or gigas), with a cackling cry
Also called: blue-winged kookaburra a related smaller bird D. Leachii, of tropical Australia and New Guinea

Word Origin for kookaburra

C19: from a native Australian language
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