from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A bird (Caprimulgus carolinensis) of the southern and central United States, resembling but larger than the whippoorwill.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Antrostomus carolinensis, a goatsucker of the southern United States.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A large whippoorwill-like bird (a species of goatsucker) (Caprimulgus carolinensis, formerly Antrostomus Carolinensis), of the southern United States; -- so called from its note.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The great goatsucker of Carolina, Antrostomus carolinensis, a fissirostral caprimulgine bird, with short rounded wings, long rounded tail, small feet and bill, the latter garnished with long rictal bristles giving off lateral filaments, and dark, much variegated coloration.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. large whippoorwill-like bird of the southern United States
Their weird cries are reflected in the common names for many of the species, e.g., whippoorwill, chuck-will's-widow, poorwill, poor-me-one, potoo, and pauraque.
Now they heard the distant baying of house-dogs, now the doleful call of the chuck-will's-widow, and once Mary's blood turned, for an instant, almost to ice at the unearthly shriek of the hoot owl just above her head.
There were many whippoorwills, or rather Brazilian birds related to them; they uttered at intervals through the night a succession of notes suggesting both those of our whippoorwill and those of our big chuck-will's-widow of the Gulf
The sough of the tidal surf breaking upon the beach, the occasional cry of a soaring sea-bird, or the more continuous and melancholy note of the chuck-will's-widow, do not attract their attention.
* Caprimulgus rufus called chuck-will's-widow, from a fancied resemblance of his notes to these words: they inhabit the maritime parts of Carolina and Florida, and are more than twice the size of the night hawk or whip-poor-will. and active mock-bird.
Travels Through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogulges, or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Chactaws; Containing An Account of the Soil and Natural Productions of Those Regions, Together with Observations on the Manners of the Indians.