- either of two North American gallinaceous birds of western prairies, Tympanuchus cupido (greater prairie chicken), or T. pallidicinctus (lesser prairie chicken), having rufous, brown, black, and white plumage.
- sharp-tailed grouse.
Origin of prairie chicken
An Americanism dating back to 1685–95
Also called prairie fowl, prairie grouse.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for prairie chicken
"The—the prairie-chicken," said Nancy, to make him feel that he was quite forgiven.The Devourers
Annie Vivanti Chartres
Wild turkeys and prairie-chicken tasted much better than bacon, Polly said, and she learned to cook them herself.Stories of California
Ella M. Sexton
Roasted duck and prairie-chicken; stewed rabbit and broiled fish fresh out of the lake!The Huntress
They were famous hunters, and could shoot a deer upon the run, or bring down a prairie-chicken upon the wing.Winning His Way
Charles Carleton Coffin
The flying turkey will not shrink, as the prairie-chicken does, when receiving and carrying off lead.Buffalo Land
W. E. Webb
prairie fowl, prairie grouse or prairie hen
- either of two mottled brown-and-white grouse, Tympanuchus cupido or T. pallidicinctus, of North America