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

  • n. Any of various birds of the order Galliformes, especially the common, widely domesticated chicken (Gallus gallus).
  • n. A bird, such as the duck, goose, turkey, or pheasant, that is used as food or hunted as game.
  • n. The flesh of such birds used as food.
  • n. A bird of any kind.
  • intransitive v. To hunt, trap, or shoot wildfowl.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A bird.
  • n. A bird of the order Galliformes, including chickens, turkeys, pheasant, partridges and quail.
  • n. Birds which are hunted or kept for food, including Galliformes and also waterfowl of the order Anseriformes such as ducks, geese and swans.
  • v. To hunt fowl.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any bird; esp., any large edible bird.
  • n. Any domesticated bird used as food, as a hen, turkey, duck; in a more restricted sense, the common domestic cock or hen (Gallus domesticus).
  • intransitive v. To catch or kill wild fowl, for game or food, as by shooting, or by decoys, nets, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To catch or kill wild fowl as game or for food, as by means of decoys, nets, or snares, by pursuing them with falcons or hawks, or by shooting.
  • To hunt wild fowl over or in; catch or kill wild fowl in.
  • An obsolete variant of foul.
  • n. A bird: generally unchanged in the plural when used in a collective or generic sense.
  • n. Specifically A barn-yard cock or hen; also, a domestic duck or turkey; in the plural, poultry.
  • n. See the qualifying words.

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

  • n. a domesticated gallinaceous bird thought to be descended from the red jungle fowl
  • v. hunt fowl
  • n. the flesh of a bird or fowl (wild or domestic) used as food
  • v. hunt fowl in the forest


Middle English foul, from Old English fugol; see pleu- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English foul, foghel, from Old English fugol, from Proto-Germanic *fuglaz, dissimilated variant of *fluglaz (compare Old English flugol ‘fleeing’, Mercian fluglas heofun ‘fowls of the air’), from *fleuganan ‘to fly’. More at fly. (Wiktionary)



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