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bevy

[bev-ee]
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noun, plural bev·ies.
  1. a group of birds, as larks or quail, or animals, as roebuck, in close association.
  2. a large group or collection: a bevy of boisterous sailors.
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Origin of bevy

1400–50; late Middle English bevey, of obscure origin

Synonyms

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1. covey, flight; brood. 2. assembly, company.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bevy

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • No bevy of ladies, no merry parties, no pageants worthy of the name.

  • At that they laughed, and said they must choose him a bevy of fair women.

    Cyropaedia

    Xenophon

  • The two Kit had pointed out were, as well as we could judge, the fairest of the bevy.

    Left on Labrador

    Charles Asbury Stephens

  • There was a bevy of girls about her and they all talked at once.

    The Girls at Mount Morris

    Amanda Minnie Douglas

  • They scuttled into the nearest seats at hand like a bevy of startled partridges.

    Marjorie Dean

    Pauline Lester


British Dictionary definitions for bevy

bevy

noun plural bevies
  1. a flock of quails
  2. a group, esp of girls
  3. a group of roedeer
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Word Origin

C15: of uncertain origin
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

Word Origin and History for bevy

n.

early 15c., collective noun of quails and ladies, from Anglo-French bevée, of unknown origin. One supposed definition of the word is "a drinking bout," but this is perhaps a misprint of bever, from Old French beivre (see beverage). Still, it's possible that the original sense could be a company of birds gathered at a puddle or pool for drinking or bathing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper