- any of numerous large, usually long-tailed, Old World gallinaceous birds of the family Phasianidae, widely introduced.
- any of various other birds that resemble or suggest a pheasant.
- Southern U.S. the ruffed grouse.
Origin of pheasant
Examples from the Web for pheasant
It is the first time Charles has been pictured with a gun on a pheasant shoot since December 2008.Prince Charles Photographed Shooting, Charges of Animal Cruelty and Royal Hypocrisy Reignited
December 1, 2014
Wood pigeon, pheasant, partridge, grouse, peacocks, hares, wild rabbits, and waterfowl are all dietary staples.Edible Taxidermy: It’s a Good Thing
August 5, 2014
The pheasant calls for Pommard, while songbirds and hare lend themselves to aged Bordeaux or a light Gevrey.The Queen of the French Kitchen
March 26, 2014
Hemingway is shown on p. 89, pensive with rifle at a pheasant shoot in Idaho.Defining American Cool From Walt Whitman to Tina Fey and Johnny Depp
March 25, 2014
Along with pheasant- and grouse-shooting, chicken-raising ranks high on the list.The Duchess Tells All
November 25, 2010
This is an excellent way of cooking an old partridge or pheasant.The Cook's Decameron: A Study in Taste:
Mrs. W. G. Waters
I would at any time prefer a slice off the fillet of a buffalo to any pheasant.The History of Louisiana
Le Page Du Pratz
I kill every pheasant I fire at; Plowden will tell you that!The Market-Place
He knighted the monkey, the dog and the pheasant, and made them his body-guard.Japanese Fairy World
William Elliot Griffis
The pheasant was exquisite, and I ate with an epicurean enjoyment.A Day's Ride
Charles James Lever
- any of various long-tailed gallinaceous birds of the family Phasianidae, esp Phasianus colchicus (ring-necked pheasant), having a brightly-coloured plumage in the male: native to Asia but introduced elsewhere
- any of various other gallinaceous birds of the family Phasianidae, including the quails and partridges
- US and Canadian any of several other gallinaceous birds, esp the ruffed grouse
Word Origin and History for pheasant
late 13c. (mid-12c. as a surname), from Anglo-French fesaunt, Old French faisan (13c.) "pheasant," from Latin phasianus, from Greek phasianos "a pheasant," literally "Phasian bird," from Phasis, river flowing into the Black Sea in Colchis, where the birds were said to have been numerous. The ph- was restored in English late 14c. (see ph). The excrescent -t is due to confusion with -ant suffix of nouns formed from present participle of verbs in first Latin conjugation (peasant, tyrant, etc.).