curlew, n. [F. courlieu, corlieu, courlis; perh. of imitative origin, but cf. OF. corlieus courier; L. currere to run + levis light.].
Curlew Jack (Zoöl.) the whimbrel or lesser curlew. -- Curlew sandpiper (Zoöl.), a sandpiper (Tringa ferruginea or Tringa subarquata), common in Europe, rare in America, resembling a curlew in having a long, curved bill. See Illustation in Appendix.
A wading bird of the genus Numenius
, remarkable for its long, slender, curved bill. [1913 Webster
" The common European curlew is Numenius arquatus. The long-billed (Numenius longirostris), the Hudsonian (Numenius Hudsonicus), and the Eskimo curlew (Numenius borealis, are American species. The name is said to imitate the note of the European species."