pelican

[ pel-i-kuhn ]
/ ˈpɛl ɪ kən /

noun

any of several large, totipalmate, fish-eating birds of the family Pelecanidae, having a large bill with a distensible pouch.
a still or retort with two tubes that leave the body from the neck, curve in opposite directions, and reenter the body through the belly.

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Origin of pelican

before 1000; Middle English pellican,Old English <Late Latin pelicānus, variant of pelecān<Greek pelekā́n
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for pelican

British Dictionary definitions for pelican

pelican
/ (ˈpɛlɪkən) /

noun

any aquatic bird of the tropical and warm water family Pelecanidae, such as P. onocrotalus (white pelican): order Pelecaniformes. They have a long straight flattened bill, with a distensible pouch for engulfing fish

Word Origin for pelican

Old English pellican, from Late Latin pelicānus, from Greek pelekān; perhaps related to Greek pelekus axe, perhaps from the shape of the bird's bill; compare Greek pelekas woodpecker
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