Definition of curlew
noun (plural same or curlews)
- a large wading bird of the sandpiper family, with a long downcurved bill, brown streaked plumage, and frequently a distinctive ascending two-note call. See also stone curlew.
- Genus Numenius, family Scolopacidae: several species, in particular N. arquata of Eurasia
Middle English: from Old French courlieu, alteration (by association with courliu 'courier', from courre 'run' + lieu 'place') of imitative courlis