[ muh-kaw ]
/ məˈkɔ /


any of various large, long-tailed parrots, chiefly of the genus Ara, of tropical and subtropical America, noted for their brilliant plumage and harsh voice.

Nearby words

  1. macassar oil,
  2. macau,
  3. macaulay,
  4. macaulay, dame rose,
  5. macaulay, thomas babington, 1st baron,
  6. macbeth,
  7. macbride,
  8. macc.,
  9. maccabaeus,
  10. maccabean

Origin of macaw

1660–70; < Portuguese macao, macau < Tupi makʾo Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for macaw

British Dictionary definitions for macaw


/ (məˈkɔː) /


any large tropical American parrot of the genera Ara and Anodorhynchus, having a long tail and brilliant plumage

Word Origin for macaw

C17: from Portuguese macau, of unknown 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 macaw



species of large, long-tailed birds, 1660s, from Portuguese macau, from a word in a Brazilian language, perhaps Tupi macavuana, which may be the name of a type of palm tree the fruit of which the birds eat.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper