any of several birds of the family Tinamidae, of South and Central America, related to the ratite birds but superficially resembling the gallinaceous birds.

Origin of tinamou

1775–85; < French < Carib tinamu
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tinamou

Historical Examples of tinamou

  • The martinette (tinamou), a sort of intermediary between the partridge and the pheasant, is the best of the Pampas game.

    South America To-day

    Georges Clemenceau

  • When surprised on the open ground the Ypecaha lies close, like a Tinamou, refusing to rise until almost trodden upon.

  • He was galloping over the pampas, with a very violent wind blowing in his face, when a Tinamou started up before his horse.

  • Another bird sure to interest the sportsman is the Patagonian prairie chicken known as the tinamou.

British Dictionary definitions for tinamou



any bird of the order Tinamiformes of Central and South America, having small wings, a heavy body, and an inconspicuous plumage

Word Origin for tinamou

C18: via French from Carib (Galibi) tinamu
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