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

  • noun Any of various plump-bodied game birds of several genera in the family Phasianidae, native to Eurasia and Africa and introduced elsewhere.
  • noun Any of several game birds, such as the ruffed grouse or the bobwhite, similar to a partridge.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A gallinaceous or rasorial bird of the family Tetraonidæ and of one or another of the subfamilies perdicinæ, Caccabinæ, and Ortyginæ, of small size as compared with grouse (Tetraoninæ), with four toes, scaly shanks seldom spurred, fairly well-developed tail, and naked nostrils
  • noun By a misapplication of the name (by English sportsmen and others in South America), species of the family Tinamidæ, as Nothura maculosa, the common partridge of the pampas of the Argentine Republic, and Rhynchotus rufescens, the great or large partridge.
  • noun In Australia, by misapplication, species of the family Tumicidæ.
  • noun In New England, by misapplication, the ruffed grouse.
  • noun In artillery, a large bombard formerly used in sieges and defensive works. Froissart. Compare perdreau.
  • noun A caunon charge which consists of a number of missiles fired together; a sort of case-shot; a grenade.

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

  • noun (Zoöl.) Any one of numerous species of small gallinaceous birds of the genus Perdix and several related genera of the family Perdicidæ, of the Old World. The partridge is noted as a game bird.
  • noun U.S. Any one of several species of quail-like birds belonging to Colinus, and allied genera.
  • noun New Eng. The ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus).
  • noun (Zoöl.) a spurred partridge of the genus Bambusicola. Several species are found in China and the East Indies.
  • noun (Zoöl.), [Local, U.S.] the woodcock.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a francolin of South Africa (Francolinus pictus).
  • noun (Bot.) The fruit of the creeping wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens); also, the plant itself.
  • noun (Zoöl.) Same as Mountain witch, under Mountain.
  • noun (Bot.) a yellow-flowered leguminous herb (Cassia Chamæcrista), common in sandy fields in the Eastern United States.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a large marine univalve shell (Dolium perdix), having colors variegated like those of the partridge.
  • noun A name sometimes given to the dark-colored and striated wood of some kind of palm, which is used for walking sticks and umbrella handles.
  • noun (Zoöl.) an Asiatic sand partridge (Ammoperdix Bonhami); -- so called from its note.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a large spurred partridge (Lerwa nivicola) which inhabits the high mountains of Asia; called also jermoonal.
  • noun See under Spruce.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any small Asiatic partridge of the genus Arboricola.

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

  • noun Any bird of a number of genera in the family Phasianidae, notably in the genera Perdix and Alectoris.

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

  • noun heavy-bodied small-winged South American game bird resembling a gallinaceous bird but related to the ratite birds
  • noun a popular North American game bird; named for its call
  • noun valued as a game bird in eastern United States and Canada
  • noun flesh of either quail or grouse
  • noun small Old World gallinaceous game birds


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

[Middle English partrich, from Old French perdriz, alteration of perdis, from Latin perdīx, from Greek; see perd- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Via Middle English and Old French, from Latin perdīx ("partridge"), from Ancient Greek πέρδιξ (perdix, "partridge").



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  • Of 'that little coquette Katrina':

    "She was a blooming lass of fresh eighteen; plump as a patridge; ripe and melting and rosy-cheeked as one of her father's peaches"

    -Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

    I'm intrigued by the 'one ass, two chairs' approach to metaphors of objectification here. A patridge--ie. game--AND a neatly domesticated fruit!

    November 16, 2009

  • One of the standard endings to Spanish fairy tales is "Y vivieron felices y comieron perdices" (they lived happily and ate partridges). See, e.g. perdices

    November 16, 2009

  • Sounds like a fine fate

    November 16, 2009

  • Y vivieron felices y comieron Katrinas. Much better.

    November 16, 2009

  • a pear tree

    January 10, 2010