1. any of several birds, especially the black-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus erythropthalmus) and the yellow-billed cuckoo (C. americanus), that are said to call frequently before a rainstorm.

Origin of rainbird

First recorded in 1910–15; rain + bird
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rainbird

Historical Examples of rainbird

  • Rainbird is a local name for the green woodpecker, but as an East-Anglian name it is most likely an imitative form of Fr.

    The Romance of Names

    Ernest Weekley

British Dictionary definitions for rainbird


  1. any of various birds, such as (in Britain) the green woodpecker, whose cry is supposed to portend rain
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