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pheasant

[fez-uh nt]
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noun
  1. any of numerous large, usually long-tailed, Old World gallinaceous birds of the family Phasianidae, widely introduced.
  2. any of various other birds that resemble or suggest a pheasant.
  3. Southern U.S. the ruffed grouse.
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Origin of pheasant

1250–1300; Middle English fesaunt < Anglo-French; Old French fesan < Latin phāsiānus < Greek phāsiānós (órnis) (bird) of the Phasis, river in the Caucasus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for pheasant

pheasant

noun
  1. any of various long-tailed gallinaceous birds of the family Phasianidae, esp Phasianus colchicus (ring-necked pheasant), having a brightly-coloured plumage in the male: native to Asia but introduced elsewhere
  2. any of various other gallinaceous birds of the family Phasianidae, including the quails and partridges
  3. US and Canadian any of several other gallinaceous birds, esp the ruffed grouse
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Word Origin

C13: from Old French fesan, from Latin phāsiānus, from Greek phasianos ornis Phasian bird, named after the River Phasis, in Colchis
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 pheasant

n.

late 13c. (mid-12c. as a surname), from Anglo-French fesaunt, Old French faisan (13c.) "pheasant," from Latin phasianus, from Greek phasianos "a pheasant," literally "Phasian bird," from Phasis, river flowing into the Black Sea in Colchis, where the birds were said to have been numerous. The ph- was restored in English late 14c. (see ph). The excrescent -t is due to confusion with -ant suffix of nouns formed from present participle of verbs in first Latin conjugation (peasant, tyrant, etc.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper