button quail

or but·ton·quail

[ buht-n kweyl ]
/ ˈbʌt n ˌkweɪl /


any of several small, drab, terrestrial birds of the family Turnicidae, with all but one species in the genus Turnix and well distributed in the grasslands of Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe: named for their resemblance to Old World true quails, the button quails belong to a different order (Charadriiformes) and are distinct in having neither a hind toe nor a crop.



Visualize yourself passing this quiz on words from Jacqueline Woodson’s exquisite verse novel “Brown Girl Dreaming,” and then take the quiz to prove you can do it! (Because you can.)
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What does “barren” mean?
Also called hemipode .

Origin of button quail

First recorded in 1880–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for button quail

  • So there's another heading for a game book here; that might begin with elephant and finish up with mouse-deer and button-quail.

    From Edinburgh to India & Burmah|William G. Burn Murdoch
  • You christened little Miss Demby the Button-quail, last cold weather; you know you did.

    The Day's Work, Volume 1|Rudyard Kipling

British Dictionary definitions for button quail

button quail


any small quail-like terrestrial bird of the genus Turnix, such as T. sylvatica (striped button quail), occurring in tropical and subtropical regions of the Old World: family Turnicidae, order Gruiformes (cranes, rails, etc)Also called: hemipode
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