passenger pigeon

noun
  1. an extinct pigeon, Ectopistes migratorius, once found in great numbers in North America, noted for its sustained migratory flights.

Origin of passenger pigeon

An Americanism dating back to 1795–1805
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for passenger pigeon

Historical Examples of passenger pigeon

  • The passenger-pigeon of America appears in almost equal numbers.

    The Western World

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • We had stumbled upon a feeding-place of the passenger-pigeon (Columba migratoria).

  • The cougar is well-known to frequent the great roosts of the passenger-pigeon, and is fond of the flesh of these birds.

  • The nest of the passenger-pigeon is equally hasty and insufficient, and the squabs often fall to the ground and perish.

    Wake-Robin

    John Burroughs

  • Already the passenger-pigeon and Carolina paroquet, only a few years ago abundant, are practically exterminated.


British Dictionary definitions for passenger pigeon

passenger pigeon

noun
  1. a gregarious North American pigeon, Ectopistes migratorius: became extinct at the beginning of the 20th century
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