Definition of fowl in English:



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

    See also jungle fowl
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One of the most distinctive expressions in the chicken lexicon occurs when my fowls spot a bird of prey.’
    • ‘Gallinaceous is an adjective describing birds of the order Gallinae, which includes common domestic fowls, pheasants, grouse, and quails.’
    • ‘The behavioral sequence leading to a copulation has been extensively described in the domestic fowl.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Breeds of domestic fowl are described under hen/chicken breeds.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A L Basham lists India's contribution to World: rice, cotton, sugar cane, many spices, domestic fowl, game of chess etc.’
    • ‘Immediately behind this is the kitchen garden, with still-existing hutches for rabbits, fowls and pigeons.’
    domestic fowl
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Any other domesticated bird kept for its eggs or flesh, e.g., the turkey, duck, goose, and guineafowl.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, sales don't drop completely as turkeys aren't the only fowl to be eaten over Christmas.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      domestic fowl
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 The flesh of birds, especially of the domestic cock or hen, as food; poultry.
      • ‘There was other meat galore, too, steak, pork, fowl, bacon, etc.’
      • ‘The borders are now completely closed for beef, fowl and pork imports.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The menu was meat-heavy: fowl, pheasant, tripe, pork, steak, lamb and duck, cooked in a variety of ways.’
      • ‘The term ‘vegetarian’ has only been around for about 150 years but abstinence from flesh, fish and fowl is as old as man himself.’
      • ‘All kosher-slaughtered animals undergo rigorous inspection, and meat and fowl must be thoroughly cleansed of blood.’
      • ‘The fish, fowl and meat chapters are full of simple dishes, fish with just herbs, olive oil and lemon in true Italian style.’
      • ‘The flavor and acidity would match up well with shellfish and grilled fowl.’
      • ‘If you like red meat better than fowl, eat it more often.’
      • ‘Before contact with the West, staple foods included yam, taro, banana, coconut, sugarcane, tropical nuts, greens, pigs, fowl, and seafood.’
      • ‘This is usually combined with fish, fowl, or red meat and copious spices to form a type of stew.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Special meals usually include meat, fish, or fowl, along with one of a number of starchy foods, which vary by region.’
      • ‘Usually any meat, fowl, or seafood is curried, and frying is the typical method of cooking.’
      • ‘Brining is generally used as a preservative for meat and fowl; here it's used as a flavor enhancer.’
    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, originally the general term for a bird, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vogel and German Vogel, also to fly.