Definition of fowl in English:



  • 1A gallinaceous bird kept for its eggs and flesh; a domestic cock or hen.

    The domestic fowl is derived from the wild red junglefowl of SE Asia (see junglefowl)

    • ‘Gallinaceous is an adjective describing birds of the order Gallinae, which includes common domestic fowls, pheasants, grouse, and quails.’
    • ‘The domestic fowl is descended from the red junglefowl of south-east Asia and has been domesticated for 6 000 to 8 000 years.’
    • ‘Breeds of domestic fowl are described under hen/chicken breeds.’
    • ‘It is a good practice to put a burlap cloth, cheese cloth or paper towels over the litter for the first week so the young fowl can learn to distinguish the food from the litter.’
    • ‘The behavioral sequence leading to a copulation has been extensively described in the domestic fowl.’
    • ‘The lecturer, in a most interesting and instructive address, dwelt chiefly on the principal characteristics of the three classes of fowls, the non-sitting or table fowl, the layer, and the general-purpose fowl.’
    • ‘Birds affected by this disease are fowls, turkeys, geese, ducks, pheasants, guinea fowl and other wild and captive birds, including ratites such as ostriches, emus and rhea.’
    • ‘A typical recipe is in Hannah Glasse's The Art of Cookery: A very thick crust enclosed a turkey, which was stuffed with a goose, the goose with a fowl, then a partridge, then a pigeon.’
    • ‘In March it banned trade in chicken from West Java and South Sulawesi provinces after bird flu killed thousands of fowls there.’
    • ‘Immediately behind this is the kitchen garden, with still-existing hutches for rabbits, fowls and pigeons.’
    • ‘Although this assumption has not been rigorously tested in wild bird populations, data from domestic fowl suggest that, indeed, immunocompetence measurements might not be antigen specific.’
    • ‘An experimental study in the domestic fowl (Gallus gallus domesticus) found that paternity success varied across females, which were inseminated with equal numbers of sperm from two males.’
    • ‘If ‘free-range’ is best, Joyce's were the most free-range fowls in creation; they were everywhere, and sociable, too, not at all averse to hopping up on a kitchen chair beside you while you had a cup of tea.’
    • ‘A L Basham lists India's contribution to World: rice, cotton, sugar cane, many spices, domestic fowl, game of chess etc.’
    • ‘These birds also express high levels of a bacteriolytic lysozyme which is more similar in amino acid sequence to the rock pigeon than that of the domestic fowl.’
    • ‘I thought the accompaniments would overshadow the fowl, but the chicken taste actually crept through to add a complex layer to the international tapestry of flavours.’
    • ‘Above my head in the argusia bush a red-footed booby chick, the size of a domestic fowl, peers down at me.’
    • ‘One of the most distinctive expressions in the chicken lexicon occurs when my fowls spot a bird of prey.’
    • ‘An old woman churns butter, while a woman in the foreground prepares a fowl for roasting and a third man spits a chicken at the far right.’
    • ‘I have been known to be more of an owl than a fowl because I have late nights and struggle with early mornings.’
    1. 1.1 Any other domesticated bird kept for its eggs or flesh, e.g. a turkey or goose.
      • ‘The focus will be on five categories of agricultural products: vegetables, fruit, milk, domestic animals and fowl, and aquatic products.’
      • ‘In one large enterprise about two years ago they started breeding fowl - chicken and geese.’
      • ‘New ways were found to supply goods formerly thought to be quasi-luxury items - notably chickens and turkeys by way of the new broiler fowl industry.’
      • ‘Giblets are the edible internal parts of a fowl, including the gizzard, heart, liver, and neck.’
      • ‘About 1530, a new dish began to be put on English tables, a fowl a little larger than the traditional goose, but with a lot more meat and a refreshingly new taste.’
      • ‘In addition, my family included nine dogs, about 40 ducks and domestic fowls, eight geese, a Bornean deer that weighed about 150 pounds, and two long-armed apes.’
      • ‘However, sales don't drop completely as turkeys aren't the only fowl to be eaten over Christmas.’
      • ‘I understand, and have seen at first hand on several occasions what a fox can do to a flock of chickens, or other domestic fowl.’
      • ‘Wild birds may carry these infections, but they typically prove most harmful to domestic fowl like chickens, ducks, and turkeys.’
      • ‘The government destroyed almost 1.4 million chickens, ducks, geese and other fowl in the territory last month to stop the spread of an avian influenza.’
      • ‘Most of these cases were thefts of livestock: primarily sheep, but also goats, cattle, hogs, fowls, and horses.’
      • ‘This combination was a new one on me: it has always been citrus that chefs pair with duck, the fatty fowl undercut by the tartness of the fruit.’
      • ‘Eggs from chickens, ducks and geese would also have been eaten although the fowl of the period would not have laid as often as their modern counterparts.’
    2. 1.2mass noun The flesh of domesticated birds as food; poultry.
      ‘a stew of various meats and fowl’
      • ‘Even the soup of the day is an intentional creation, using freshly prepared vegetables and stock with fresh meat, fowl, or fish added.’
      • ‘The borders are now completely closed for beef, fowl and pork imports.’
      • ‘All kosher-slaughtered animals undergo rigorous inspection, and meat and fowl must be thoroughly cleansed of blood.’
      • ‘If you like red meat better than fowl, eat it more often.’
      • ‘They may eat liberally from a list of ‘acceptable foods,’ which includes all types of fish, fowl, shellfish, meat, eggs, cheese, fats and oils, herbs, and some vegetables.’
      • ‘Before contact with the West, staple foods included yam, taro, banana, coconut, sugarcane, tropical nuts, greens, pigs, fowl, and seafood.’
      • ‘Special meals usually include meat, fish, or fowl, along with one of a number of starchy foods, which vary by region.’
      • ‘It was here he discovered fresh seafood, superior salmon, wild game, and fowl, and Scandinavian butter - a dairy product containing more fat than most butters.’
      • ‘The term ‘vegetarian’ has only been around for about 150 years but abstinence from flesh, fish and fowl is as old as man himself.’
      • ‘There was other meat galore, too, steak, pork, fowl, bacon, etc.’
      • ‘The flavor and acidity would match up well with shellfish and grilled fowl.’
      • ‘The fish, fowl and meat chapters are full of simple dishes, fish with just herbs, olive oil and lemon in true Italian style.’
      • ‘Each dish had its own plate: round, square, triangular or oval, depending, as far as I could surmise, on whether it was fish, meat or fowl.’
      • ‘Usually any meat, fowl, or seafood is curried, and frying is the typical method of cooking.’
      • ‘This is usually combined with fish, fowl, or red meat and copious spices to form a type of stew.’
      • ‘The menu was meat-heavy: fowl, pheasant, tripe, pork, steak, lamb and duck, cooked in a variety of ways.’
      • ‘A quick jump in time and place to today reveals a general population who loves meat and fowl - as long as it is pre-packaged and no one has to think about how it got there.’
      • ‘A traditional meal is a bowl of steamed rice eaten with a sauce containing bits of fish, fowl, or meat, eggs, vegetables, and spices such as onions, chilies, garlic, mint, ginger, or lemon grass.’
      • ‘Music runs from ethnic afro-beats to trendy lounge jazz; food is a multi-cultural fusion of fish, fowl and steak; and drinks and cigars come from all over the globe.’
      • ‘Brining is generally used as a preservative for meat and fowl; here it's used as a flavor enhancer.’
    3. 1.3 Used in names of birds that resemble the domestic fowl.
      • ‘Guinea fowls, though hardy by nature, are susceptible to bacterial, round worm and ranikhet infections.’
      • ‘The most striking of the guinea fowl, it is taller than its relatives.’
      • ‘Restrictions and slaughter provisions apply to domestic fowls, turkeys, geese, ducks, guinea fowls, quail, ratites, pigeons, pheasants and partridges reared or kept in captivity.’
      • ‘The mallee fowl are the largest mound builders in Australia.’
      • ‘Guinea fowl meat is white like chicken but its taste is more reminiscent of pheasant, without excessive gamey flavor.’
    4. 1.4 Birds collectively, especially as the quarry of hunters.
      ‘an abundance of game, fowl, and fish’
      • ‘These would eventually have flourished, destroying the local housing and creating a forest teeming with fish, fowl, and game.’
    5. 1.5archaic A bird.
      • ‘The birds we have had have been the ordinary fowl of a village garden: jackdaws, starlings, magpies, chaffinches and so on.’


Old English fugol ‘bird’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vogel and German Vogel, also to fly.