Definition of coly in English:



  • another term for mousebird
    • ‘These birds, also known as colies (KOHL-eez), range in head-to-tail length from 10.2 to 15.7 inches.’
    • ‘Mousebirds, or colies, are of the order Coliiformes.’
    • ‘Some facultatively hypothermic species (colies, several coraciiforms) alleviate this cost by group roosting on the nest, but this adaptation has not led to the evolution of joint laying.’
    • ‘This volume completes the non-passerines, dealing with all species occurring on the continent - residents and visitors alike - in the following families: parrots, turacos, cuckoos, owls, nightjars, swifts, colies, kingfishers and their allies, and woodpeckers and their allies.’
    • ‘Two shared, derived characters of the syrinx imply a relationship between parrots and colies.’


Mid 19th century: from modern Latin Colius, from Greek kolios, denoting a type of woodpecker.