noun pl. partridges or partridge
- any of a number of medium-sized, short-tailed gallinaceous birds (family Phasianidae), esp., an Old World species (Perdix perdix) with an orange-brown head, a grayish neck, and a rust-colored tail, now established in N U.S.
- any of various birds resembling the partridge, as the ruffed grouse
ME partriche < OFr perdriz, earlier perdiz < L perdix < Gr, prob. akin toperdesthai, to break wind (< IE base *perd- > fart): from whirring sound made by wings on rising to fly