Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A large kingfisher (Dacelo novaeguineae) of southern and eastern Australia, having brown and white plumage and a call resembling raucous laughter.
  • noun Any of several similar kingfishers of the genera Dacelo and Clytoceyx of Australia, New Guinea, and neighboring islands.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The native name adopted as a common name for the laughing-jackass, Dacelo gigas, a large species of kingfisher. The name is extensively used about Sydney and is given by E. P. Ramsay in his “Catalogue of Australian Birds.” See cut under Dacelo.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any of several species of kingfishers in the genus Dacelo, known for their laugh-like call.

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

  • noun Australian kingfisher having a loud cackling cry

Etymologies

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

[Wiradhuri (Pama-Nyungan language of southeast Australia) gugubarra, of imitative origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Wiradhuri gugubarra ("Dacelo novaeguineae").

Examples

Comments

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  • A large, arboreal, brown kingfisher, Dacelo novæ-guineæ, distinguished by its peculiar laughing cry; formerly called the GOBURRA and also called the laughing jackass.

    What a coincidence... Though I have never been called a kookaburra, I have on occasion been called "the laughing jackass."

    February 7, 2007