The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Pelican \Pel"i*can\ (p[e^]l"[i^]*kan), n. [F. p['e]lican, 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.
para[,c]u.] [Written also pelecan.]
1. (Zool.) 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.
Note: 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
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.
Note: The principle is still employed in certain modern forms
of distilling apparatus.
Frigate pelican (Zool.), the frigate bird. See under
Pelican fish (Zool.), deep-sea fish (Eurypharynx
pelecanoides) of the order Lyomeri, remarkable for the
enormous development of the jaws, which support a large
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 (Zool.), 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
Pelican's foot (Zool.), a marine gastropod shell of the
genus Aporrhais, esp. Aporrhais pes-pelicani of