- any of a family (Meleagrididae) of large, gallinaceous North American birds with a small, naked head and a tail that can be spread like a fan, including a wild or domesticated species (Meleagris gallopavo) bred as poultry and a wild species (Agriocharis ocellata) of Central America, with eyespots on the tail
- the flesh of a turkey
- ⌂ Slang a failure: said as of a theatrical production, movie, book, etc.
- ⌂ Slang an inept, stupid, or unpleasant person
- ⌂ Bowling three strikes in a row
Origin of turkey; from earlier Turkey-cock, term origin, originally applied to the guinea fowl, sometimes imported through Turkey and, for a time, identified with the American fowl
- a. A large North American bird (Meleagris gallopavo) that has brownish plumage and a bare wattled head and neck and is widely domesticated for food.b. The flesh of this bird, used as food.
- A related bird (Meleagris ocelatta syn. Agriocharis ocellata) of Mexico and Central America, brilliantly colored and having eyelike spots on its tail.
- Informal a. A person considered inept or undesirable.b. A failure, especially a failed theatrical production or movie.
- Sports Three consecutive strikes in bowling.
Origin of turkeyAfter Turkey from a confusion with the guinea fowl, once believed to have originated in Turkish territory.
- Either of two species of bird in the genus Meleagris with fan-shaped tails and wattled necks.
- (UK) The guinea fowl (Numida meleagris). [from c. 1600]
- (colloquial) A failure.
- That film was a turkey.
- (slang, usually mildly derogatory) A foolish or inept person.
- The turkey cut in front of me and then berated me for running into him.
- (bowling) An act of throwing three strikes in a row.
From Turkey. The guinea fowl (Numida meleagris), native to Africa, was imported to Europe by turkey merchants. The larger northern American bird Meleagris gallopavo, thought to resemble the guinea fowl, was brought to Spain by conquistadors in 1523; from there it was introduced to northern Africa, at the time under Ottoman rule, and then via the Middle East back into Europe.