- any of a number of large gallinaceous birds (family Phasianidae), usually with a long, sweeping tail and brilliant feathers
- ⌂ any of a number of birds resembling the pheasant, as the ruffed grouse
Origin of pheasantMiddle English fesant ; from Anglo-French ; from Old French faisan ; from Classical Latin phasianus ; from Classical Greek phasianos, after Phasis, river of Colchis: the birds are said to have been numerous near its mouth
nounpl. pheas·ants or pheasant
- Any of various game birds of the family Phasianidae, characteristically having a long tail, especially the ring-necked pheasant. The males of many species have brilliantly colored plumage.
- Any of several other birds that resemble a pheasant, such as a partridge.
Origin of pheasantMiddle English fesaunt, from Old French fesan, from Latin ph&amacron;si&amacron;nus, from Greek ph&amacron;si&amacron;nos (orn&imacron;s), (bird) of the Phasis River, pheasant, from Ph&amacron;sis, the ancient name for the Rioni River in the Republic of Georgia.
male ring-necked pheasant
From Middle English fesant, from Old French fesan, from Latin phÄsiÄnus, from Ancient Greek Ï†Î±ÏƒÎ¹Î±Î½ÏŒÏ‚ (phasianos) ("bird of the river Î¦á¾¶ÏƒÎ¹Ï‚ (PhÈƒsis)") from where, it was supposed, the bird spread to the west.