- the domestic or barnyard hen or rooster; chicken.Compare domestic fowl.
- any of several other, usually gallinaceous, birds that are barnyard, domesticated, or wild, as the duck, turkey, or pheasant.
- (in market and household use) a full-grown domestic fowl for food purposes, as distinguished from a chicken or young fowl.
- the flesh or meat of a domestic fowl.
- any bird (used chiefly in combination): waterfowl; wildfowl.
- to hunt or take wildfowl.
Origin of fowl
Examples from the Web for fowl
It is a multimillion-dollar business in which roughly 15 million fowl die a year.The History of the Chicken: How This Humble Bird Saved Humanity
December 27, 2014
Like all fowl, turkeys tend to go quiet when held upside down.Confessions of a Turkey Killer
November 26, 2014
Both include oysters, crawfish, crab, shrimp, and fish from the Gulf of Mexico, and pork, fowl, and beef.Secrets of Creole and Cajun Food
February 17, 2010
The basket contained a fowl and some eggs which she had just bought at a great price.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
Even the fowl at Horn o' the Moon are not of the ordinary sort.Tiverton Tales
Pass through a sieve and use for masking meat, fowl, fish, &c.The Cook's Decameron: A Study in Taste:
Mrs. W. G. Waters
At times she was even able to carry off a rabbit or a fowl given her by Desiree.Abbe Mouret's Transgression
Fill the fowl with the stuffing, placing in the yolks and truffles.The Skilful Cook
- (intr) to hunt or snare wildfowl
Word Origin and History for fowl
Old English fugel "bird," representing the general Germanic word for them, from Proto-Germanic *foglaz (cf. Old Frisian fugel, Old Norse fugl, Middle Dutch voghel, Dutch vogel, German vogel, Gothic fugls), probably by dissimilation from *flug-la-, literally "flyer," from the same root as Old English fleogan, modern fly (v.1).
Originally "bird;" narrower sense of "domestic hen or rooster" (the main modern meaning) is first recorded 1570s; in U.S. also extended to ducks and geese. As a verb, Old English fuglian "to catch birds." Related: Fowled; fowling.