Main definitions of loon in US English:

: loon1loon2loon3

loon1

noun

informal
  • A silly or foolish person.

    • ‘Advice: do not wear and use hands-free kits for phones after dark unless you want people to think that you are a total loon.’
    • ‘And for another, hanging them on your lapel makes you look like a dork, or worse yet a loon.’
    • ‘This is probably because we're not paranoid loons desperate for any pretext to start a fight.’
    • ‘Here, a sheepish young yakuza is ordered to kill his insane boss but things go awry when his elder disappears in a town full of loons, zombies, and halfwits.’
    • ‘The feeling of take-off makes me grin like a loon.’
    • ‘Our local happy loons have nominated a sacrifice candidate to stand for Parliament - though they're a little unclear as to which electorate.’
    • ‘And I'd cheer too, waving like a loon from the sidelines.’
    • ‘‘Yes, ma'am,’ said our director, grinning like a loon.’
    • ‘We used to date sisters and we're both crazy as loons, so we have that much in common.’
    • ‘Instead of discussing the points he raises - points where most reasonable people would say reasonable people can disagree - you've all turned loons.’
    • ‘It is de rigueur to ridicule them - of course they are laughable loons!’
    • ‘And yes, we jumped up and down and hugged like absolute loons.’
    • ‘Not to be outdone, Adams takes over drumming duties, grinning like a loon.’
    • ‘‘Alright then,’ said I and followed him into my parent's sitting room where he plinked and plonked what can only be described as ‘radical jazz’ on the piano and I danced around like a loon.’
    • ‘I love this comic, despite the fact Sim has degenerated into a frothing loon.’
    • ‘I'm aware that's an unpopular thing to say, and that many consider him a loon.’
    • ‘The 21-year-old waitress said: ‘I'm a bit of a loon but I think my personality will be perfect for a girl group as I'm great at getting everyone to laugh.’’
    • ‘They have the tendency to wear loud shirts and smile at you like loons.’
    • ‘What's important to you may not be important to anyone else, and what's important to me may make you think I'm a loon.’
    • ‘Prizes should be delivered to the TV director who cut to their box in time to catch him grinning like a loon, boffing a balloon about with his feet and hands.’
    idiot, ass, halfwit, nincompoop, blockhead, buffoon, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, cretin, imbecile, dullard, moron, simpleton, clod
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 19th century: from loon (referring to the bird's actions when escaping from danger), perhaps influenced by loony.

Pronunciation

loon

/lo͞on//lun/

Main definitions of loon in US English:

: loon1loon2loon3

loon2

noun

North American
  • A large diving waterbird with a sleek black or gray head, a straight pointed bill, and short legs set far back under the body. Loons breed by lakes in northern latitudes and have wailing calls.

    Family Gaviidae and genus Gavia: five species, including the common loon (G. immer) of both Canada and Eurasia

    British term diver (sense 2)
    • ‘Flamingos are conceded by all to be closely linked to pelicans, albatrosses, loons, probably penguins, and the like - the charadriomorph lineage.’
    • ‘The first, innocuous shower stroked the lake's surface but, when the wind came up, the loons began to call madly.’
    • ‘This year, the artists showcased their talent with birds for a theme competition, each displaying the delicate feathers of every bird, from eagles to loons.’
    • ‘Studies show that more than 55 percent of loon deaths in the Northeast are caused by lead tackle, which has also proven fatal to at least two dozen other species, including bald eagles that eat contaminated prey.’
    • ‘Only those who have heard the sound of a loon or a wolf call can truly sympathise with the poet about the beauty of the sound: ‘The wolves howl with a loneliness that is only theirs.’’
    • ‘Few if any fish survive in acid lakes, so loons have less food for their young.’
    • ‘All other birds, from loons and penguins to woodpeckers and sparrows, are placed together in the third main lineage, the Neoaves.’
    • ‘Red-throated Loons breed farther north than any other loon.’
    • ‘In modern divers, such as the penguin and loon, the wings are also shaped so that the surface presented to the water is a smooth, hydrodynamic curve.’
    • ‘Some interesting exceptions to the correlation between body size and pneumaticity occur in birds that dive underwater to feed, such as grebes, loons, and penguins.’

Origin

Mid 17th century: probably by alteration of Shetland dialect loom, denoting especially a guillemot or a diver, from Old Norse.

Pronunciation

loon

/lo͞on//lun/

Main definitions of loon in US English:

: loon1loon2loon3

loon3

verb

British
informal
  • no object, with adverbial Act in a foolish or desultory way.

    ‘he decided to loon around London’
    • ‘We'd set the bands gear up and generally idle the afternoon away in the bar playing pool, looning around on the beach, and hanging out in various cafés dotted around town before the serious business of playing heavy metal started in the evening.’
    • ‘Then again, the man who turned looning into a full-time career generally looks quite vacant.’
    • ‘The group consisted of everyone from complete novices through to experienced riders, this made for a great sociable chilled out day of looning around in the woods.’
    • ‘I had looned and lazied my way through physical childhood and the misfortune of a crazed adolescence.’

Origin

1960s: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

loon

/lun//lo͞on/