American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


FOWL, noun [Latin fugio, fugo, Gr. and signifying the flying animal.]

A flying or winged animal; the generic name of certain animals that move through the air by the aid of wings. Fowls have two feet, are covered with feathers, and have wings for flight. Bird is a young fowl or chicken, and may well be applied to the smaller species of fowls. But it has usurped the place of fowl and is used improperly as the generic term.

FOWL is used as a collective noun. We dined on fish and fowl

Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air. Genesis 1:20.

But this use in America is not frequent. We generally use the plural, fowls. The word is colloquially used for poultry, or rather, in a more limited sense, for barn door fowls.

FOWL, verb intransitive To catch or kill wild fowls for game or food; as by means of bird-lime, decoys, nets and snares, or by pursuing them with hawks, or by shooting.