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[fez-uh nt] /ˈfɛz ənt/
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
1250-1300; Middle English fesaunt < Anglo-French; Old French fesan < Latin phāsiānus < Greek phāsiānós (órnis) (bird) of the Phasis, river in the Caucasus Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pheasant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This is an excellent way of cooking an old partridge or pheasant.

  • 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 Harold Frederic
  • 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
British Dictionary definitions for pheasant


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 & Canadian) any of several other gallinaceous birds, esp the ruffed grouse
Word Origin
C13: from Old French fesan, from Latin phāsiānus, from Greek phasianos ornis Phasian bird, named after the River Phasis, in Colchis
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
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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.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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