from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A wall or shelf clock that announces intervals of time with a sound imitative of a cuckoo's call and often with the simultaneous emergence of a mechanical bird from a small door.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A clock in winch a mechanical cuckoo announces the hours: originally made in the Black Forest or in Switzerland and known as Black Forest clock.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A clock that announces the time by a cuckoo sound, often equipped with a mechanical cuckoo.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun clock that announces the hours with a sound like the call of the cuckoo


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  • A cuckoo clock is a clock, typically pendulum driven, that strikes the hours using small bellows and pipes that imitate the call of the Common Cuckoo in addition to striking a wire gong. The mechanism to produce the cuckoo call was installed in almost every kind of cuckoo clock since the middle of the eighteenth century and has remained almost without variation until the present.

    The design of a cuckoo clock is now conventional. Most are made in the "traditional style" or "chalet" to hang on a wall. In the "traditional style" the wooden case is decorated with carved leaves and animals. Most now have an automaton of the bird that appears through a small trap door while the clock is striking. The bird is often made to move while the clock strikes, typically by means of an arm that lifts the back of the carving.


    February 3, 2008