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]
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