Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A grayish European bird (Cuculus canorus) that has a characteristic two-note call and lays its eggs in the nests of birds of other species.
  • n. Any of various related birds of the family Cuculidae, having grayish-brown plumage and a slender body.
  • n. The call or cry of one of these birds.
  • n. Slang A foolish or crazy person.
  • transitive v. To repeat incessantly, as a cuckoo does its call.
  • adj. Slang Lacking in sense; foolish or crazy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Crazy; not sane.
  • n. Any of various birds, of the family Cuculidae (from Latin cuculus ("cuckoo")), famous for laying its eggs in the nests of other species; but especially the common cuckoo, Cuculus canorus, that has a characteristic two-note call
  • n. The sound of that particular bird.
  • n. The bird shaped figure found in Swiss/German clocks (cuckoo clocks) or the clock itself.
  • n. Someone found where they shouldn't be (used especially in the phrase 'A cuckoo in the nest'.)
  • n. Someone who is crazy.
  • v. To make the call of a cuckoo
  • v. To repeat something incessantly

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A bird belonging to Cuculus, Coccyzus, and several allied genera, of many species.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A bird of the family Cuculidœ, and especially of the subfamily Cuculinœ or genus Cuculus: so called from its characteristic note.
  • n. A simpleton; a fool: used in jest or contempt, like the ultimately related gowk.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of numerous European and North American birds having pointed wings and a long tail
  • v. repeat monotonously, like a cuckoo repeats his call
  • n. a man who is a stupid incompetent fool

Etymologies

Middle English cuccu, of imitative origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
(onomatopoeia) (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Sumer is icumen in, lhude sing cuccu!

    September 14, 2009

  • Spring and Winter (Part i)

    by William Shakespeare

    WHEN daisies pied and violets blue,
    And lady-smocks all silver-white,
    And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
    Do paint the meadows with delight,
    The cuckoo then, on every tree,
    Mocks married men; for thus sings he,
    Cuckoo!
    Cuckoo, cuckoo!—O word of fear,
    Unpleasing to a married ear!

    When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,
    And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks,
    When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,
    And maidens bleach their summer smocks
    The cuckoo then, on every tree,
    Mocks married men; for thus sings he,
    Cuckoo!
    Cuckoo, cuckoo!—O word of fear,
    Unpleasing to a married ear!

    September 14, 2009