Also called true quail . any of numerous gallinaceous birds, order Galliformes, classified as either Old World quails, within the pheasant family (Phasinidae), especially the genus Coturnix, or the distantly related New World quails, comprising their own family (Odontophoridae), including the genera Colinus,Callipepla, and Odontophorus: among the most familiar true quails are the Old World king quail and the New World bobwhite.
Older Slang. a woman or girl.
- quail·like, adjective
Other definitions for quail (2 of 2)
to lose heart or courage in difficulty or danger; shrink with fear.
- un·quail·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use quail in a sentence
A celebration of the bounty of the Mid-Atlantic — look for quail with wild grapes — the Dabney occasionally incorporates truffles or foie gras into the menu, and “I couldn’t live without olive oil,” jokes the chef.
“We expected to find learning evidence in the songbirds but not in the quail and penguins,” Colombelli-Négrel says.
The scientists don’t know why the penguins and quail, which have their own calls genetically baked in, have the ability to distinguish their own species’ calls from those of other birds right from birth.
That’s because penguins and quail are “vocal nonlearners” — birds thought to have calls that are genetically programmed from birth and not learned from a tutor.
In other words, there’s a reason for this research being done and being done in this way that a photo of a quail snorting a line fails to capture.The various dishonesties in Rand Paul’s cocaine-quail presentation | Philip Bump | May 28, 2021 | Washington Post
The sound of birds, quail, even doe, make a wild grid of noise.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile | Robert Ward | January 3, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
As a boy, he once said, he acquired the throwing skill that served him handsomely later by killing quail with rocks.
Deer, dove, and quail hunting is a right of passage in the Lone Star state.
Despite the lessons of the last four years, the banking sector in the U.K. is still too big to quail, let alone fail.Barclays, NatWest, LIBOR: Britain’s ‘Perfect Storm’ of Scandal | Peter Jukes | July 3, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
We both love chasing quail and hunting deer in our beloved Texas.
And the quail, perched on the fence-stake, would she address herself to us or to Mr. Robert White down in the meadow?The Soldier of the Valley | Nelson Lloyd
And he came a step still nearer; and now at last Mary began to dread, but still she did not quail.God Wills It! | William Stearns Davis
A lugubrious quail doled forth a grating, dismal note at long but measured intervals, offending the ear and depressing the heart.It Is Never Too Late to Mend | Charles Reade
From the grass nine Indians arose, stooped, and scuttled off like a covey of running quail.Blazed Trail Stories | Stewart Edward White
The whistle of the quail and the flutter of the perdiz, or pheasant, are heard on all sides in the rural and mountain regions.
British Dictionary definitions for quail (1 of 2)
any small Old World gallinaceous game bird of the genus Coturnix and related genera, having a rounded body and small tail: family Phasianidae (pheasants)
any of various similar and related American birds, such as the bobwhite
British Dictionary definitions for quail (2 of 2)
(intr) to shrink back with fear; cower
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