Pelican

Pel"i*can

(pl"*kn), n. [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.]
[Written also pelecan.]
1. (Zol.) 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.
[1913 Webster]

The American white pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) and the brown species (Pelecanus fuscus) are abundant on the Florida coast in winter, but breed about the lakes in the Rocky Mountains and British America.
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2. (Old Chem.) A retort or still having a curved tube or tubes leading back from the head to the body for continuous condensation and redistillation.
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The principle is still employed in certain modern forms of distilling apparatus.
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Frigate pelican (Zol.), the frigate bird. See under Frigate. -- Pelican fish (Zol.), deep-sea fish (Eurypharynx pelecanoides) of the order Lyomeri, remarkable for the enormous development of the jaws, which support a large gular pouch. -- Pelican flower (Bot.), the very large and curiously shaped blossom of a climbing plant (Aristolochia grandiflora) of the West Indies; also, the plant itself. -- Pelican ibis (Zol.), a large Asiatic wood ibis (Tantalus leucocephalus). The head and throat are destitute of feathers; the plumage is white, with the quills and the tail greenish black. -- Pelican in her piety (in heraldry and symbolical art), a representation of a pelican in the act of wounding her breast in order to nourish her young with her blood; -- a practice fabulously attributed to the bird, on account of which it was adopted as a symbol of the Redeemer, and of charity. -- Pelican's foot (Zol.), a marine gastropod shell of the genus Aporrhais, esp. Aporrhais pes-pelicani of Europe.
[1913 Webster]

 

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Tue 11th December 2018