Definition of fowl in US English:



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

    The domestic fowl is descended from the wild red junglefowl of Southeast Asia (see jungle fowl)

    • ‘Breeds of domestic fowl are described under hen/chicken breeds.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In March it banned trade in chicken from West Java and South Sulawesi provinces after bird flu killed thousands of fowls there.’
    • ‘I have been known to be more of an owl than a fowl because I have late nights and struggle with early mornings.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A L Basham lists India's contribution to World: rice, cotton, sugar cane, many spices, domestic fowl, game of chess etc.’
    • ‘The domestic fowl is descended from the red junglefowl of south-east Asia and has been domesticated for 6 000 to 8 000 years.’
    • ‘Above my head in the argusia bush a red-footed booby chick, the size of a domestic fowl, peers down at me.’
    • ‘Gallinaceous is an adjective describing birds of the order Gallinae, which includes common domestic fowls, pheasants, grouse, and quails.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Immediately behind this is the kitchen garden, with still-existing hutches for rabbits, fowls and pigeons.’
    • ‘One of the most distinctive expressions in the chicken lexicon occurs when my fowls spot a bird of prey.’
    1. 1.1 Any other domesticated bird kept for its eggs or flesh, e.g., the turkey, duck, goose, and guineafowl.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In one large enterprise about two years ago they started breeding fowl - chicken and geese.’
      • ‘Wild birds may carry these infections, but they typically prove most harmful to domestic fowl like chickens, ducks, and turkeys.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Giblets are the edible internal parts of a fowl, including the gizzard, heart, liver, and neck.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The focus will be on five categories of agricultural products: vegetables, fruit, milk, domestic animals and fowl, and aquatic products.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Most of these cases were thefts of livestock: primarily sheep, but also goats, cattle, hogs, fowls, and horses.’
    2. 1.2 The flesh of domesticated birds as food; poultry.
      • ‘The flavor and acidity would match up well with shellfish and grilled fowl.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Even the soup of the day is an intentional creation, using freshly prepared vegetables and stock with fresh meat, fowl, or fish added.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The fish, fowl and meat chapters are full of simple dishes, fish with just herbs, olive oil and lemon in true Italian style.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Before contact with the West, staple foods included yam, taro, banana, coconut, sugarcane, tropical nuts, greens, pigs, fowl, and seafood.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This is usually combined with fish, fowl, or red meat and copious spices to form a type of stew.’
      • ‘Usually any meat, fowl, or seafood is curried, and frying is the typical method of cooking.’
      • ‘Special meals usually include meat, fish, or fowl, along with one of a number of starchy foods, which vary by region.’
      • ‘The menu was meat-heavy: fowl, pheasant, tripe, pork, steak, lamb and duck, cooked in a variety of ways.’
      • ‘There was other meat galore, too, steak, pork, fowl, bacon, etc.’
      • ‘All kosher-slaughtered animals undergo rigorous inspection, and meat and fowl must be thoroughly cleansed of blood.’
      • ‘The borders are now completely closed for beef, fowl and pork imports.’
      • ‘The term ‘vegetarian’ has only been around for about 150 years but abstinence from flesh, fish and fowl is as old as man himself.’
      • ‘If you like red meat better than fowl, eat it more often.’
    3. 1.3 Birds collectively, especially as the quarry of hunters.
      • ‘These would eventually have flourished, destroying the local housing and creating a forest teeming with fish, fowl, and game.’
    4. 1.4archaic 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.