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pel·i·can (pĕlĭ-kən)
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n.
Any of various large, web-footed birds of the genus Pelecanus primarily of tropical and warm regions, having a long straight bill from which hangs a distensible pouch of skin used for catching and holding fish.

[Middle English, from Old English pellican and from Old French pelican, both from Late Latin pelicānus, from Greek pelekan.]
(click for a larger image)
pelican
brown pelican
Pelecanus occidentalis

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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