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.
Any of various similar or related New World birds, such as the bobwhite.
To shrink back in fear; cower.
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.