Turkey definition

tûrkē
Frequency:
A large North American bird (Meleagris gallopavo) that has brownish plumage and a bare wattled head and neck and is widely domesticated for food.
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A person considered inept or undesirable.
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(sports) Three consecutive strikes in bowling.
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The flesh of this bird, used as food.
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A failure, especially a failed theatrical production or movie.
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(bowling) Three strikes in a row.
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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.
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The flesh of a turkey.
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Either of two species of bird in the genus Meleagris with fan-shaped tails and wattled necks.
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(UK) The guinea fowl (Numida meleagris). [from c. 1600]
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(colloquial) A failure.

That film was a turkey.

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(slang, usually mildly derogatory) A foolish or inept person.

The turkey cut in front of me and then berated me for running into him.

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(bowling) An act of throwing three strikes in a row.
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Country at the intersection of Europe and Asia on the Mediterranean. Official name: Republic of Turkey.
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A country of southwest Asia and southeast Europe between the Mediterranean and the Black Seas. The region was dominated by many ancient civilizations and peoples, among them the Hittites (1800 bc ), the Greeks (8th century bc ), and the Persians (6th century bc ), and in ad 395 it became part of the Byzantine Empire. The area was conquered by the Ottoman Turks between the 13th and 15th centuries and remained the core of the Ottoman Empire for more than 600 years. Its modern history dates to the rise of the Young Turks (after 1908) and the collapse of the empire in 1918. Under the leadership of Kemal Atatürk, a republic was proclaimed in 1923. Ankara is the capital and Istanbul the largest city.
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(slang) A failure.
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(slang) An inept, stupid, or unpleasant person.
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A related bird (Meleagris ocelatta syn. Agriocharis ocellata) of Mexico and Central America, brilliantly colored and having eyelike spots on its tail.
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(place) Country occupying Asia Minor & a SE part of the Balkan Peninsula: 301,384 sq mi (780,580 sq km); cap. Ankara.
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(informal) talk turkey
  • To speak frankly about the basic facts of a matter.
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talk turkey
  • to talk bluntly and directly
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
turkey
Plural:
turkeys

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Origin of turkey

  • After Turkey from a confusion with the guinea fowl, once believed to have originated in Turkish territory

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

  • 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.

    From Wiktionary

  • From French Turquie, Medieval Latin Turquia, from Turcus (“Turk"), from Byzantine Greek Τοῦρκος, from Persian ترک (Turk), from Middle Persian twlk' (Turk), from an Old Turkic autonym, Türk or Türük.

    From Wiktionary