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Definition of "quail" []

  • Any of various Old World chickenlike birds of the genus Coturnix, especially C. coturnix, small in size and having mottled brown plumage and a short tail. (noun)
  • Any of various similar or related New World birds, such as the bobwhite. (noun)
  • To shrink back in fear; cower. (verb-intransitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "quail" in a sentence
  • "So a real bird I'm sure would be like, "Oh my God, listen to that" and they'd be out of there, so they -- they hunt what we call quail tarts, which are specially raised birds that hear noise and go "I'm going to go check that out," walk over and the vice president can just walk right up to them and either shoot them with his gun or hit them in the face with his hammer, whatever he wants to do."
  • "Granted, shooting quail is a lot different, but clays might help work out some fundamental issues."
  • "One of the big issues in raising quail is that preditors eat the young birds about as fast as you can release them."