What does pelican mean?
Definitions for pelican
ˈpɛl ɪ kənpel·i·can
This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word pelican.
large long-winged warm-water seabird having a large bill with a distensible pouch for fish
Any of various seabirds of the family Pelecanidae, having a long bill with a distendable pouch.
A native or resident of the American state of Louisiana.
Etymology: From pellicane, from pelecanus, from πελεκάν.
Samuel Johnson's Dictionary
There are two sorts of pelicans; one lives upon the water and feeds upon fish; the other keeps in deserts, and feeds upon serpents and other reptiles: the pelican has a peculiar tenderness for its young; it generally places its nest upon a craggy rock: the pelican is supposed to admit its young to suck blood from its breast. Augustin Calmet
Etymology: pelicanus, low Lat. pellican, Fr.
Should discarded fathers
Have this little mercy on their flesh;
’Twas this flesh begot those pelican daughters. William Shakespeare.
The pelican hath a beak broad and flat, like the slice of apothecaries. George Hakewill, on Providence.
Pelicans (genus Pelecanus) are a genus of large water birds that make up the family Pelecanidae. They are characterized by a long beak and a large throat pouch used for catching prey and draining water from the scooped-up contents before swallowing. They have predominantly pale plumage, except for the brown and Peruvian pelicans. The bills, pouches, and bare facial skin of all pelicans 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 and from polar regions and the open ocean. Long thought to be related to frigatebirds, cormorants, tropicbirds, and gannets and boobies, pelicans instead are now known to be most closely related to the shoebill and hamerkop, and are placed in the order Pelecaniformes. Ibises, spoonbills, herons, and bitterns have been classified in the same order. Fossil evidence of pelicans dates back at least 36 million years to the remains of a tibiotarsus recovered from late Eocene strata of Egypt that bears striking similarity to modern species of pelican. They are thought to have evolved in the Old World and spread into the Americas; this is reflected in the relationships within the genus as the eight species divide into Old World and New World lineages. This hypothesis is supported by fossil evidence from the oldest pelican taxa. Pelicans frequent inland and coastal waters, where they feed principally on fish, catching them at or near the water surface. They are gregarious birds, travelling in flocks, hunting cooperatively, and breeding colonially. Four white-plumaged species tend to nest on the ground, and four brown or grey-plumaged species nest mainly in trees. The relationship between pelicans and people has often been contentious. The birds have been persecuted because of their perceived competition with commercial and recreational fishing. Their populations have fallen through habitat destruction, disturbance, and environmental pollution, and three species are of conservation concern. They also have a long history of cultural significance in mythology, and in Christian and heraldic iconography.
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
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.]
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
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. pelikan—pelekus, an axe.]
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
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
A well-known water-bird. Also, the old six-pounder culverin.
Military Dictionary and Gazetteer
An ancient name for a 6-pounder culverin, 9 feet long and weighing 2400 pounds.
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.
Song lyrics by pelican -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by pelican on the Lyrics.com website.
Surnames Frequency by Census Records
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Pelican is ranked #55841 in terms of the most common surnames in America.
The Pelican surname appeared 367 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Pelican.
78.2% or 287 total occurrences were White.
16% or 59 total occurrences were Black.
4% or 15 total occurrences were of two or more races.
Anagrams for pelican »
The numerical value of pelican in Chaldean Numerology is: 8
The numerical value of pelican in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6
Popularity rank by frequency of use
Translations for pelican
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- pelicàCatalan, Valencian
- pelikán, gödényHungarian
- burung undanMalay
- tsídiidaatsohíNavajo, Navaho
- nèsit, пелѝка̄н, нѐсит, pelìkānSerbo-Croatian
- bồ nông, chim bồ nôngVietnamese
- hipelekül, hipelek, pelekül, pelek, jipelekül, jipelekVolapük
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