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[tur-tl-duhv] /ˈtɜr tlˌdʌv/
any of several small to medium-sized Old World doves of the genus Streptopelia, especially S. turtur, of Europe, having a long, graduated tail: noted for its soft, cooing call.
a sweetheart or beloved mate.
Origin of turtledove
1250-1300; Middle English turtildove, equivalent to turtil turtle2 + dove dove1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for turtledove
Historical Examples
  • "I am going to finish this turtledove first, though," said Tabea gayly.

    Duffels Edward Eggleston
  • The cause or causes of the increase of the turtledove are not far to seek.

  • Besides the turtledove there is no other bird that is the harbinger of good luck.

    The Manbos of Mindano

    John M. Garvan
  • Thy cheeks are beautiful as the turtledove's, thy neck as jewels.

  • The turtledove, though common in the south of England, is a migratory bird, and in these parts not a constant visitor.

  • But Margaret, who like most loving women had no more sense of humour than a turtledove, took this very ill.

  • Another species, also said to be increasing in the country--the turtledove, was extremely abundant.

  • Hence, as he sallies forth to seek the site, he keeps his ear alert for the turtledove's2 prophetic cry.

    The Manbos of Mindano

    John M. Garvan
  • This instance will serve to show the uncompromising faith of the Manbo in omens, especially in that of the turtledove.

    The Manbos of Mindano

    John M. Garvan
British Dictionary definitions for turtledove


any of several Old World doves of the genus Streptopelia, having a brown plumage with speckled wings and a long dark tail
a gentle or loving person
Word Origin
see turtle²
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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