- any of several American quail of the genus Colinus, especially C. virginianus (northern bobwhite), having mottled reddish-brown, black, and white plumage.
Origin of bobwhite
1805–15, Americanism; from its cry, as heard by speakers of English
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for bobwhite
Sweet to his ear sounded the call of bobwhite from the yellow grain.The Kentucky Warbler
James Lane Allen
I have said that the voice of the bobwhite is heard in the land.
In many respects it resembles the bobwhite in color, though far more fancifully marked.
Unlike the bobwhite or the Montezuma quail of Mexico, the valley quail bunches in the fall.
I may add that both the gambel and a species of the Collinus, bobwhite, are found in this same section.
- a brown North American quail, Colinus virginianus, the male of which has white markings on the head: a popular game bird
C19: of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for bobwhite
North American partridge, 1819, so called from the sound of its cry.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper