Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A bird: generally unchanged in the plural when used in a collective or generic sense.
  • noun Specifically A barn-yard cock or hen; also, a domestic duck or turkey; in the plural, poultry.
  • noun See the qualifying words.
  • An obsolete variant of foul.
  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Any bird; esp., any large edible bird.
  • noun Any domesticated bird used as food, as a hen, turkey, duck; in a more restricted sense, the common domestic cock or hen (Gallus domesticus).
  • noun a fowl that frequents the barnyard; the common domestic cock or hen.
  • intransitive verb To catch or kill wild fowl, for game or food, as by shooting, or by decoys, nets, etc.
  • intransitive verb a light gun with smooth bore, adapted for the use of small shot in killing birds or small quadrupeds.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English foul, from Old English fugol; see pleu- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

Examples

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