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A nightjar (Caprimulgus carolinensis) resembling the whip-poor-will and found in southeast North America, Central America, and northern South America.

[Imitative of its call.]


(Animals) a large North American nightjar, Caprimulgus carolinensis, similar to the whippoorwill


(ˈtʃʌk wɪlz)

a large nightjar, Caprimulgus carolinensis, of the southern U.S.
[1785–95; representing the bird's call]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.chuck-will's-widow - large whippoorwill-like bird of the southern United Stateschuck-will's-widow - large whippoorwill-like bird of the southern United States
caprimulgid, goatsucker, nightjar - mainly crepuscular or nocturnal nonpasserine birds with mottled greyish-brown plumage and large eyes; feed on insects
Caprimulgus, genus Caprimulgus - type genus of the Caprimulgidae
References in periodicals archive ?
Douglas County produced a cinnamon teal, and Putnam a chuck-will's-widow.
Three of them are the Eastern Whippoorwill (Antrostomus vociferus), the close cousin, Chuck-will's-widow (Antrostomus carolinensis), and the Common Poorwill (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii).
Just as I came to an intersection a chuck-will's-widow announced its presence in front of me and in the distance to the northwest another whip-poor-will.