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noun, plural par·tridg·es, (especially collectively) par·tridge.
  1. any of several Old World gallinaceous game birds of the subfamily Perdicinae, especially Perdix perdix.
  2. Chiefly Northern U.S. the ruffed grouse.
  3. Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. bobwhite.
  4. any of several other North American gallinaceous game birds.
  5. any of various South and Central American tinamous.

Origin of partridge

1250–1300; Middle English partrich, variant of pertrich < Middle French pertris, variant of perdris, Old French perd(r)iz < Latin perdix < Greek pérdix
Related formspar·tridge·like, adjective


  1. Eric (Hon·ey·wood) [huhn-ee-woo d] /ˈhʌn iˌwʊd/, 1894–1979, British lexicographer, born in New Zealand. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for partridge


noun plural -tridges or -tridge
  1. any of various small Old World gallinaceous game birds of the genera Perdix, Alectoris, etc, esp P. perdix (common or European partridge): family Phasianidae (pheasants)
  2. US and Canadian any of various other gallinaceous birds, esp the bobwhite and ruffed grouse

Word Origin for partridge

C13: from Old French perdriz, from Latin perdix, from Greek


  1. Eric (Honeywood). 1894–1979, British lexicographer, born in New Zealand; author of works on English usage, idiom, slang, and etymology
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

Word Origin and History for partridge

late 12c., from Old French pertis, alteration of perdis (perhaps influenced by fem. suffix -tris), from Latin perdicem (nominative perdix) "plover, lapwing," from Greek perdix, the Greek partridge, probably related to perdesthai "to break wind," in reference to the whirring noise of the bird's wings, from PIE imitative base *perd- "to break wind" (cf. Sanskrit pardate "breaks wind," Lithuanian perdzu, Russian perdet, Old High German ferzan, Old Norse freta, Middle English farten).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper