Any of several African weaverbirds of the genus Quelea, especially Q. quelea, a small red-billed bird that is destructive to grain crops.
[New Latin Quelea, genus name, perhaps alteration of Medieval Latin qualea, quail, ultimately from Vulgar Latin *coacula, of imitative origin.]
(click for a larger image)quelea
male red-billed quelea
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.