moorhen

[ moor-hen ]

noun
  1. Also called water hen. a common species of gallinule, Gallinule chloropus, of nearly worldwide distribution.

  2. any of several related gallinules.

  1. Chiefly British. the female red grouse.

Origin of moorhen

1
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. 2023

How to use moorhen in a sentence

  • At its narrow end it has a small bed of bulrushes, which has been inhabited by a pair of moorhens for several years past.

    Birds in London | W. H. Hudson
  • We have more than once shot moorhens in autumn with spawn dripping from their bills, and the birds themselves gorged with it.

    Poachers and Poaching | John Watson
  • At the sudden movement a pike struck, and two moorhens scuttled out of the water into the grass on the shore.

    After London | Richard Jefferies
  • Just below the shadow of the beech there is a sandy, oozy shore, where the footprints of moorhens are often traceable.

    Nature Near London | Richard Jefferies
  • There is, however, no better plan of teaching them to take to the water than letting them hunt moorhens.

    Sporting Dogs | Frank Townend Barton

British Dictionary definitions for moorhen

moorhen

/ (ˈmʊəˌhɛn, ˈmɔː-) /


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

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