English edit

Etymology 1 edit

From Middle English foul, foghel, fowel, fowele, from Old English fugol (bird), from Proto-West Germanic *fugl, from Proto-Germanic *fuglaz, dissimilated variant of *fluglaz (compare Old English flugol ‘fleeing’, Mercian fluglas heofun ‘birds of the air’),[1] from *fleuganą (to fly). Cognate with West Frisian fûgel, Low German Vagel, Dutch vogel, German Vogel, Swedish fågel, Danish and Norwegian fugl. Doublet of voël. More at fly.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

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fowl (plural fowl or fowls)

  1. (archaic) A bird.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter XIX, in Le Morte Darthur, book XIII:
      And now I take vpon me the aduentures of holy thynges / & now I see and vnderstande that myn old synne hyndereth me and shameth me / so that I had no power to stere nor speke whan the holy blood appiered afore me / So thus he sorowed til hit was day / & herd the fowles synge / thenne somwhat he was comforted
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
  2. A bird of the order Galliformes, including chickens, turkeys, pheasant, partridges and quail.
  3. Birds which are hunted or kept for food, including Galliformes and also waterfowl of the order Anseriformes such as ducks, geese and swans, together forming the clade Galloanserae.
Derived terms edit
Translations edit
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Verb edit

fowl (third-person singular simple present fowls, present participle fowling, simple past and past participle fowled)

  1. To hunt fowl.
    We took our guns and went fowling.
Derived terms edit
Translations edit

References edit

  1. ^ C.T. Onions, ed., Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, s.v. "fowl" (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1996), 374.

Etymology 2 edit

Adjective edit

fowl (comparative fowler, superlative fowlest)

  1. (obsolete) foul
    • Paradise Lost, John Milton
      Say first, for Heav'n hides nothing from thy view / Nor the deep Tract of Hell, say first what cause / Mov'd our Grand Parents in that happy State / Favour'd of Heav'n so highly, to fall off / From their Creator, and transgress his Will / For one restraint, Lords of the World besides? / Who first seduc'd them to that fowl revolt?

References edit

Anagrams edit

Middle English edit

Noun edit

fowl (plural fowles)

  1. Alternative form of fowel
    And smale fowles maken melodye
    That slepen all the night with open ye - Chaucer, General Prologue, Canterbury Tales, ll.9-10