Quail



[kweyl] /kweɪl/

noun, plural quails (especially collectively) quail.
1.
a small, migratory, gallinaceous game bird, Coturnix coturnix, of the Old World.
2.
any of several other birds of the genus Coturnix and allied genera.
3.
any of various New World gallinaceous game birds of the genus Colinus and allied genera, especially the bobwhite.
4.
Slang. a woman or girl.
[kweyl] /kweɪl/
verb (used without object)
1.
to lose heart or courage in difficulty or danger; shrink with fear.
/kweɪl/
noun (pl) quails, quail
1.
any small Old World gallinaceous game bird of the genus Coturnix and related genera, having a rounded body and small tail: family Phasianidae (pheasants)
2.
any of various similar and related American birds, such as the bobwhite
/kweɪl/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to shrink back with fear; cower
n.

migratory game bird, late 14c. (early 14c. as a surname (Quayle), from Old French quaille (Modern French caille), perhaps via Medieval Latin quaccula (source also of Provençal calha, Italian quaglia, Old Spanish coalla), or directly from a Germanic source (cf. Dutch kwakkel, Old High German quahtala “quail,” German Wachtel, Old English wihtel), imitative of the bird’s cry. Or the English word might be directly from Proto-Germanic. Slang meaning “young attractive woman” first recorded 1859.
v.

c.1400, “have a morbid craving;” early 15c., “grow feeble or sick;” mid-15c., “to fade, fail, give way,” of unknown origin, perhaps from Middle Dutch quelen “to suffer, be ill,” from Proto-Germanic *kwel- “to die” (see quell). Or from obsolete quail “to curdle” (late 14c.), from Old French coailler, from Latin coagulare (see coagulate). Sense of “lose heart, shrink, cower” is attested from 1550s. According to OED, common 1520-1650, then rare until 19c., when apparently it was revived by Scott. Related: Quailed; quailing.

noun

Related Terms

san quentin quail

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  • Quailed

    [kweyl] /kweɪl/ verb (used without object) 1. to lose heart or courage in difficulty or danger; shrink with fear. /kweɪl/ noun (pl) quails, quail 1. any small Old World gallinaceous game bird of the genus Coturnix and related genera, having a rounded body and small tail: family Phasianidae (pheasants) 2. any of various similar and […]

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