from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An extinct migratory bird (Ectopistes migratorius) abundant in eastern North America until the latter part of the 19th century.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. an extinct bird of the species Ectopistes migratorius
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- A once common wild pigeon of North America (Ectopistes migratorius), now extinct. It was so called on account of its extensive migrations.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The common wild pigeon of the United States, Ectopistes migratorius: so called from its very extensive wanderings in search of food. See Ectopistes.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. gregarious North American migratory pigeon now extinct
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The last known passenger pigeon famed in the lore of extinctions under its own individual name, Martha survived until 1914 at the Cincinnati Zoo.
311 “The passenger pigeon needs no protection …” Quoted in Schorger 1955, p.
If we accept Halliday’s view, the passenger pigeon went extinct because hunting had made it rare—relatively rare, anyway—and because that level of rarity was incompatible with the social ecology of the species.