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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Curlew \Cur"lew\ (k[^u]r"l[=u]), n. [F. courlieu, corlieu, courlis; perh. of imitative origin, but cf. OF. corlieus courier; L. currere to run + levis light.] (Zool.) A wading bird of the genus Numenius, remarkable for its long, slender, curved bill. [1913 Webster] Note: 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. [1913 Webster] Curlew Jack (Zool.) the whimbrel or lesser curlew. Curlew sandpiper (Zool.), 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. [1913 Webster]