[ foul ]
See synonyms for fowl on
noun,plural fowls, (especially collectively) fowl.
  1. the domestic or barnyard hen or rooster; chicken. : Compare domestic fowl.

  2. any of several other, usually gallinaceous, birds that are barnyard, domesticated, or wild, as the duck, turkey, or pheasant.

  1. (in market and household use) a full-grown domestic fowl for food purposes, as distinguished from a chicken or young fowl.

  2. the flesh or meat of a domestic fowl.

  3. any bird (used chiefly in combination): waterfowl; wildfowl.

verb (used without object)
  1. to hunt or take wildfowl.

Origin of fowl

First recorded before 900; Middle English foul, fuhel, Old English fugol, fugel; cognate with Old Saxon fugal, Gothic fugls, Old High German fogal (German Vogel ), from Germanic fuglaz, a possible dissimilation of unattested fluglaz, from the same root as fly2

Words that may be confused with fowl Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use fowl in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for fowl


/ (faʊl) /

  1. any other bird, esp any gallinaceous bird, that is used as food or hunted as game: See also waterfowl, wildfowl

  1. the flesh or meat of fowl, esp of chicken

  2. an archaic word for any bird

  1. (intr) to hunt or snare wildfowl

Origin of fowl

Old English fugol; related to Old Frisian fugel, Old Norse fogl, Gothic fugls, Old High German fogal

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with fowl


see neither fish nor fowl.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.