What does pelican mean?

Definitions for pelican
ˈpɛl ɪ kənpel·i·can

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word pelican.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. pelican(noun)

    large long-winged warm-water seabird having a large bill with a distensible pouch for fish


  1. pelican(Noun)

    Any of various seabirds of the family Pelecanidae, having a long bill with a distendable pouch.

    Etymology: From pellicane, from pelecanus, from πελεκάν.

  2. pelican(Noun)

    A native or resident of the American state of Louisiana.

    Etymology: From pellicane, from pelecanus, from πελεκάν.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Pelican(noun)

    any large webfooted bird of the genus Pelecanus, of which about a dozen species are known. They have an enormous bill, to the lower edge of which is attached a pouch in which captured fishes are temporarily stored

    Etymology: [F. plican, L. pelicanus, pelecanus, Gr. peleka`n, peleka^s, pele`kanos, the woodpecker, and also a water bird of the pelican kind, fr. peleka^n to hew with an ax, fr. pe`lekys an ax, akin to Skr. parau.]

  2. Pelican(noun)

    a retort or still having a curved tube or tubes leading back from the head to the body for continuous condensation and redistillation

    Etymology: [F. plican, L. pelicanus, pelecanus, Gr. peleka`n, peleka^s, pele`kanos, the woodpecker, and also a water bird of the pelican kind, fr. peleka^n to hew with an ax, fr. pe`lekys an ax, akin to Skr. parau.]


  1. Pelican

    Pelicans are a genus of large water birds comprising the family Pelecanidae. They are characterised by a long beak and large throat pouch used in catching prey and draining water from the scooped up contents before swallowing. They have predominantly pale plumage, the exceptions being the Brown and Peruvian Pelicans. The bills, pouches and bare facial skin of all species become brightly coloured before the breeding season. The eight living pelican species have a patchy global distribution, ranging latitudinally from the tropics to the temperate zone, though they are absent from interior South America as well as from polar regions and the open ocean. Fossil evidence of pelicans dates back at least 30 million years, to the remains of a beak very similar to that of modern species recovered from Oligocene strata in France. Long thought to be related to frigatebirds, cormorants, tropicbirds, gannets and boobies, pelicans are now known instead to be most closely related to the Shoebill and Hammerkop, and are placed in the order Pelecaniformes. Ibises, spoonbills and herons are more distant relatives, and have been classified in the same order. Pelicans frequent inland and coastal waters where they feed principally on fish, catching them at or near the water surface. Gregarious birds, they often hunt cooperatively and breed colonially. Four white-plumaged species tend to nest on the ground, and four brown or grey-plumaged species nest mainly in trees.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Pelican

    pel′i-kan, n. a large water-fowl, having an enormous distensible gular pouch: an alembic with tubulated head from which two opposite and crooked beaks extend and enter again the body of the vessel—used for continuous distillation: a dentist's instrument: (her.) a pelican above her nest, with wings indorsed, wounding her breast with her beak in order to feed her young with her blood. [Low L. pelicanus—Gr. pelikanpelekus, an axe.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Pelican

    a bird, the effigy of which was used in the Middle Ages to symbolise charity; generally represented as wounding its breast to feed its young with its own blood, and which became the image of the Christ who shed His blood for His people.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. pelican

    A well-known water-bird. Also, the old six-pounder culverin.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. pelican

    An ancient name for a 6-pounder culverin, 9 feet long and weighing 2400 pounds.

  2. pelican

    In heraldry, the pelican is drawn with her wings endorsed, and wounding her breast with her beak. When represented in her nest feeding her young with her blood, she is called a pelican in her piety.

Suggested Resources

  1. pelican

    Song lyrics by pelican -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by pelican on the Lyrics.com website.

Anagrams for pelican »

  1. in place

  2. panicle

  3. capelin

How to pronounce pelican?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say pelican in sign language?

  1. pelican


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of pelican in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of pelican in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Images & Illustrations of pelican

  1. pelicanpelicanpelicanpelicanpelican

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"pelican." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 11 Jul 2020. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/pelican>.

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