[too-kan, -kahn, too-kahn]
- any of several usually brightly colored, fruit-eating birds of the family Ramphastidae, of tropical America, having a very large bill.
- (initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Tucana.
Origin of toucan
1550–60; < French < Portuguese tucano < Tupi tucan (imitative of its cry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for toucan
“One day I wore a multicolored dress and someone asked if I was trying to be Toucan Sam,” she said.Was Ann Curry Fired For Her Style?
August 8, 2012
I say, Nealie, what does the toucan want to have92 such a long bill for?The Adventurous Seven
It would have been almost as easy for a toucan to display joy, grief, or surprise.The Shrieking Pit
Arthur J. Rees
The toucan (Ramphastos) belongs to the genus of scansorial birds.The Western World
If a toucan be yelping in the neighbourhood, he drops it, and imitates him.
It is to these trees that the largest sort of toucan resorts.
- any tropical American arboreal fruit-eating bird of the family Ramphastidae, having a large brightly coloured bill with serrated edges and a bright plumage
C16: from French, from Portuguese tucano, from Tupi tucana, probably imitative of its cry
Word Origin and History for toucan
bright-colored bird of S.America, 1560s, from French toucan (1550s) and Spanish tucan; from Tupi (Brazil) tuka, tukana, probably imitative of its call.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper