roadrunner

[rohd-ruhn-er]
noun
  1. either of two large terrestrial cuckoos of the genus Geococcyx of arid regions of the western U.S., Mexico, and Central America, especially G. californianus (greater roadrunner).

Origin of roadrunner

An Americanism dating back to 1855–60; road + runner
Also called chaparral cock.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for road-runner

Historical Examples of road-runner

  • The Road-Runner ducked once or twice by way of refreshing his memory.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • The Road-Runner balanced on his slender legs and cocked his head trailwise.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • "Come," said the Road-Runner, understanding that there would be no more to the Telling.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • Without a word they took hands and began to run along the trail after the Road-Runner.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • "It is something none of my people ever had," said the Road-Runner.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin


British Dictionary definitions for road-runner

roadrunner

noun
  1. a terrestrial crested bird, Geococcyx californianus, of Central and S North America, having a streaked plumage and long tail: family Cuculidae (cuckoos)Also called: chaparral cock
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 road-runner
n.

"long-tailed crested desert cuckoo," 1847, American English, from road (n.) + runner. Earliest references give the Mexican Spanish name for it as correcamino and the English name might be a translation of that. The Warner Bros. cartoon character dates to 1948.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper