Quail meaning

kwāl
To shrink back in fear; cower.
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To draw back in fear; lose heart or courage; cower.
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The definition of a quail is a small, short-tailed game bird.

A popular game bird for recreational hunting is an example of a quail.

noun
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Any of various primarily ground-dwelling birds of the genus Coturnix, especially C. coturnix, small in size and having mottled brown plumage and a short tail.
noun
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Any of various similar or related birds of the Americas, such as the bobwhite or the California quail.
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Any of a number of small, short-tailed gallinaceous birds (family Phasianidae), including the bobwhite.
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(intransitive) To waste away; to fade, wither. [from 15th c.]
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(now rare) To frighten, daunt (someone). [from 16th c.]
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(intransitive) To lose heart or courage; to be daunted, fearful. [from 16th c.]
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(intransitive) To slacken, give way (of courage, faith etc.). [from 16th c.]
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Any of various small game birds of the genera Coturnix, Anurophasis or Perdicula in the Old World family Phasianidae or of the New World family Odontophoridae.
noun
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To curdle; to coagulate, as milk does.

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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster's Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
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Origin of quail

  • Middle English quailen to give way probably from Middle Dutch quelen to suffer, be ill gwelə- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Middle English quaille from Old French perhaps from Vulgar Latin coacula of imitative origin

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English quaille, quaile, from Anglo-Norman quaille, from Old Dutch *kwakila (compare West Flemish kwakkel), blend of *kwakquack' and Proto-Germanic *hwahtilō "˜quail' (compare dialectal Dutch wachtel, German Wachtel), from a diminutive of Proto-Indo-European *kÊ·oḱt- "˜quail' (compare Latin coturnÄ«x, cocturnÄ«x, Lithuanian vaÅ¡taka, Sanskrit चातक (cātaka) "˜pied cuckoo'), metathesis of *u̯ortokÊ·- "˜quail' (compare Dutch kwartel, Greek ορτύκι (ortýki), Persian ورتیج (vartij'), Sanskrit वर्तका (vartaka)).

    From Wiktionary

  • Old French coaillier, French cailler, from Latin coagulare. See coagulate.

    From Wiktionary

  • From a Manx form of McPhail. Also an English nickname from the quail bird.

    From Wiktionary

  • Origin uncertain; perhaps related to Middle Dutch queilen.

    From Wiktionary