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moorhen

[moo r-hen]
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noun
  1. Also called water hen. a common species of gallinule, Gallinule chloropus, of nearly worldwide distribution.
  2. any of several related gallinules.
  3. Chiefly British. the female red grouse.
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Origin of moorhen

First recorded in 1250–1300, moorhen is from the Middle English word mor-hen. See moor1, hen
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for moorhen

Historical Examples

  • The nest and eggs of the Coot are very like those of the common Moorhen.

    Egyptian Birds

    Charles Whymper

  • There, too, a moorhen goes, sometimes diving under the bough.

    The Hills and the Vale

    Richard Jefferies

  • The blades of the Nonpareil were knocking up water like a moorhen.

    News from the Duchy

    Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

  • The nightingales sang, the thrushes flew out before them, the wild duck and moorhen glanced on the pools.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • She decided to go halves, to take two and leave two in the nest to console the moorhen when she came back.


British Dictionary definitions for moorhen

moorhen

noun
  1. a bird, Gallinula chloropus, inhabiting ponds, lakes, etc, having a black plumage, red bill, and a red shield above the bill: family Rallidae (rails)
  2. the female of the red grouse
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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