- either of two large terrestrial cuckoos of the genus Geococcyx of arid regions of the western U.S., Mexico, and Central America, especially G. californianus (greater roadrunner).
- a terrestrial crested bird, Geococcyx californianus, of Central and S North America, having a streaked plumage and long tail: family Cuculidae (cuckoos)Also called: chaparral cock
“long-tailed crested desert cuckoo,” 1847, American English, from road (n.) + runner. Earliest references give the Mexican Spanish name for it as correcamino and the English name might be a translation of that. The Warner Bros. cartoon character dates to 1948.