• synonyms


  1. a large grouse, Tetrao urogallus, of Eurasian forests.
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Also cap·er·cail·zie [kap-er-keyl-yee, -keyl-zee] /ˌkæp ərˈkeɪl yi, -ˈkeɪl zi/.

Origin of capercaillie

1530–40; < Scots Gaelic capull coille (by dissimilation), literally, horse of the woods; for first element, compare Middle English capel horse, Old Norse kapall nag, from the same source (probably Celtic) as Latin caballus horse; spelling lz is early typographical rendering of manuscript spelling l + yogh letter (representing palatal l); compare parallel spelling of surnames Mackenzie, Menzies
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for capercaillie

Historical Examples

  • To give an instance nearer home, the Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) was successfully introduced into Scotland in 1837.

    The History of the European Fauna

    R. F. Scharff

  • The Capercaillie hen makes her nest upon the ground, and lays from six to twelve eggs.

  • The Black Cock resembles, in one of its most striking peculiarities, its near relative, the Capercaillie.

British Dictionary definitions for capercaillie


capercailzie (ˌkæpəˈkeɪljɪ, -ˈkeɪlzɪ)

  1. a large European woodland grouse, Tetrao urogallus, having a black plumage and fan-shaped tail in the male
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Word Origin

C16: from Scottish Gaelic capull coille horse of the woods
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