[ rohd-ruhn-er ]
/ ˈroʊdˌrʌn ər /


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).

Nearby words

  1. roadie,
  2. roadkill,
  3. roadmap,
  4. roadrailer,
  5. roadroller,
  6. roadside,
  7. roadstead,
  8. roadster,
  9. roadway,
  10. roadwork

Origin of roadrunner

An Americanism dating back to 1855–60; road + runner

Also called chaparral cock. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for road-runner

British Dictionary definitions for road-runner


/ (ˈrəʊdˌrʌnə) /


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



"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