• WordNet 3.6
    • n peafowl very large terrestrial southeast Asian pheasant often raised as an ornamental bird
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Peafowl (Zoöl) The peacock or peahen; any species of Pavo.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n peafowl A peacock or peahen; a bird of the genus Pavo, of which there are two if not three species. The common peafowl, P. cristatus, is a native of India, said to have been introduced into Europe by Alexander the Great, and now everywhere domesticated. The male, female, and young are respectively called peacock, peahen, and pea-chick. The peacock is one of the largest of the gallinaceous birds, and in full dress is the most magnificent of nil birds. The gorgeous train which constitutes its chief ornament is often four feet long, and consists of an extraordinary mass of upper tail-coverts, not true tail-feathers, which latter the train overlies and far outreaches. These tail-coverts are elegantly formed of spray-like decomposed webs enlarged and recomposed at the end, and marked with glittering ocelli or “eyes.” This whole mass of plumage is capable of being erected and spread in a vertical disk completing a semicircle, or more, of the most brilliant iridescent colors, chiefly green and gold. The tail-feathers proper and the primaries are chestnut; the neck and breast are blue of a peculiarly rich tint called peacock-blue. The head is crested with a bunch of about twenty-four upright plumes. The length proper is about four feet, the train, when fully developed, measuring from two to four feet more. The peahen is much smaller and more plainly feathered, without the train. The peacock was sacred, among the Greeks and Romans, to Hera or Juno, but is now commonly regarded as the symbol of vainglory and as a bird of ill omen. The flesh is edible, like that of other gallinaceous birds. The cry is extremely loud and harsh. See Pavo, japanned; also cut under ocellate.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
See Peacock


In literature:

I presently got a shot at a peafowl, and killed her with my rifle.
"The Rifle and The Hound in Ceylon" by Samuel White Baker
The peafowls came into the yard.
"Fifty Fabulous Fables" by Lida Brown McMurry
Old mistress had two peafowls roosted in the Colonial poplar trees.
"Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States" by Work Projects Administration
We had peafowl fly brushes.
"Slave Narratives: Arkansas Narratives" by Work Projects Administration
The Chinese believe that the flesh of the peafowl is poison and our servants were horrified when they learned that we intended to eat it.
"Camps and Trails in China" by Roy Chapman Andrews and Yvette Borup Andrews
Us childen would kill a peafowl and they let us eat em.
"Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves: Volume II, Arkansas Narratives, Part 2" by Work Projects Administration
The villages in these parts are literally crowded with peafowl.
"Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official" by William Sleeman
You doubtless have seen and heard peafowls often enough to understand the comparison.
"The Secret of a Happy Home (1896)" by Marion Harland
The peafowl and sarus cranes are indulging in the pleasures of courtship.
"A Bird Calendar for Northern India" by Douglas Dewar
When it was goin' to rain them old peafowls set up a big holler.
"Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves" by Work Projects Administration

In poetry:

The purple peafowl, wholly overmastered
By the red morning, droop with weary cries;
No stroke they make to slay that gliding snake
Who creeps for shelter underneath the eyes
Of their spread jewelries!
"Grisma; Or The Season Of Heat" by Edwin Arnold

In news:

A wild male Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristata), commonly known as a peacock, fans its spectacular train.
An investigation is under way in Rolling Hills Estates into the deaths of five peafowl , two of which were shot with plastic pellets.
It's because, for several years, they've been badgered about peafowl in a small area of Martinez.