from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A family or small flock of birds, especially partridge or quail. See Synonyms at flock1.
  • n. A small group, as of persons.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A group of 8-12 (or more) quail. See gaggle, host, flock.
  • n. A brood of partridges, grouse, etc.
  • n. A party or group (of persons or things).
  • n. A man.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A brood or hatch of birds; an old bird with her brood of young; hence, a small flock or number of birds together; -- said of game.
  • n. A company; a bevy.
  • n. A pantry.
  • intransitive v. To brood; to incubate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In hunting, specifically, a flock of partridges; hence, in general use, a flock of any similar birds.
  • n. A company; a party; a bevy.
  • n. Synonyms Pack, Brood, etc. See flock.
  • n. Same as cove.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a small flock of grouse or partridge
  • n. a small collection of people


Middle English, from Old French covee, brood, from feminine past participle of cover, to incubate, from Latin cubāre, to lie down.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French covee (Modern French couvée), from Latin cubō ("lie"). (Wiktionary)
cove +‎ -y (Wiktionary)



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