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prairie chicken

either of two North American gallinaceous birds of western prairies, Tympanuchus cupido (greater prairie chicken) or T. pallidicinctus (lesser prairie chicken) having rufous, brown, black, and white plumage.
Also called prairie fowl, prairie grouse.
Origin of prairie chicken
An Americanism dating back to 1685-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for prairie chicken
Historical Examples
  • Their shoot was productive of a splendid bag––prairie chicken and geese.

    The Hound From The North Ridgwell Cullum
  • A dozen of Alf's prairie chicken will not be equal to an antelope—if I get him!

    The Fiery Totem Argyll Saxby
  • The prairie chicken has disappeared from the prairies and plains.

    Conservation Reader Harold W. Fairbanks
  • The prairie chicken has entirely disappeared from this locality.

    Our Vanishing Wild Life William T. Hornaday
  • Wild ducks, geese, and swans haunt the lakes and rivers, while on the prairies are flocks of prairie chicken.

  • They found that dried peas were just as good as shot for prairie chicken, quail and pigeons, so always hunted them with these.

  • The Columbian sharp-tailed grouse is the "prairie chicken" of eastern Washington.

  • Yellow-legged plover, golden plover; Hudsonian and Eskimo curlew, prairie chicken.

    Our Vanishing Wild Life William T. Hornaday
  • He had the gun that he took out of the wagon to shoot the prairie chicken; all he had was the load that was in it.

    Across the Plains Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Laws have been made for the protection of the pinnated grouse, or prairie chicken, and others of their tribe.

British Dictionary definitions for prairie chicken

prairie chicken

either of two mottled brown-and-white grouse, Tympanuchus cupido or T. pallidicinctus, of North America
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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