• WordNet 3.6
    • v quail draw back, as with fear or pain "she flinched when they showed the slaughtering of the calf"
    • n quail small gallinaceous game birds
    • n quail flesh of quail; suitable for roasting or broiling if young; otherwise must be braised
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Quail A prostitute; -- so called because the quail was thought to be a very amorous bird.
    • Quail (Zoöl) Any gallinaceous bird belonging to Coturnix and several allied genera of the Old World, especially the common European quail (Coturnix communis), the rain quail (Coturnix Coromandelica) of India, the stubble quail (Coturnix pectoralis), and the Australian swamp quail (Synoicus australis).
    • Quail (Zoöl) Any one of numerous species of Turnix and allied genera, native of the Old World, as the Australian painted quail (Turnix varius). See Turnix.
    • Quail (Zoöl) Any one of several American partridges belonging to Colinus Callipepla, and allied genera, especially the bobwhite (called Virginia quail, and Maryland quail), and the California quail (Calipepla Californica).
    • Quail To become quelled; to become cast down; to sink under trial or apprehension of danger; to lose the spirit and power of resistance; to lose heart; to give way; to shrink; to cower. "The atheist power shall quail , and confess his fears. I . Taylor .
      Stouter hearts than a woman's have quailed in this terrible winter."
    • v. t Quail To cause to fail in spirit or power; to quell; to crush; to subdue.
    • v. i Quail To curdle; to coagulate, as milk.
    • Quail To die; to perish; hence, to wither; to fade.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • quail To begin to die; decline; fade; wither.
    • quail To lose heart or courage; shrink before danger or difficulty; flinch; cower; tremble.
    • quail To slacken.
    • quail To quell; subdue; overpower; intimidate; terrify.
    • quail To curdle; coagulate.
    • n quail A small gallinaceous bird of the Old World, related to the partridge, and belonging to the genus Coturnix. The common Messina or migratory quail of Europe and Africa is C. communis or C. dactylisonans, highly esteemed for the table. The bill is much smaller and weaker than in the partridge, and the nasal fossæ are mostly feathered. The wings are pointed by the first, second, and third quills; the first is emarginate on the inner web; the tail is very short, soft, and slight, not half as long as the wing. The feet are small, with the tarsus shorter than the middle toe and claw, and slightly feathered above. The length of the bird is about 7 inches. The plumage is much variegated, the most conspicuous markings being sharp lance-linear stripes, whitish or buff, over most of the upper parts. This quail has several times been imported into the United States, but has failed thus far to become naturalized. There are many other quails of the same genus in various parts of the Old World, but none are indigenous to the New.
    • n quail One of the various small gallinaceous birds more or less closely resembling the quail proper: loosely applied, with or without a qualifying term, especially in the United States, to all the species of Ortyx or Colinus, Lophortyx, Oreortyx, Callipepla, Cyrtonyx, and other genera of American Ortyginæ or Odontophorinæ. Among such, the species of bob-white, as Ortyx virginiana, the common partridge or quail of sportsmen, are the nearest to the Old World species of Coturnix. In the United States, wherever the ruffed grouse, Bonasa umbella, is called pheasant, the bob-white is called partridge: where that grouse is called partridge, the bob-white is known as quail. See also cuts under Callipepla, Cyrtonyx, Lophortyx, and Oreortyx.
    • n quail A prostitute. Also called plover.
    • n quail The mountain quail, Oreortyx pictus, of the western United States: so named from its bright marking of white and chestnut.
    • n quail An Australian hemipod, or button-quail, Turnix varius.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.i Quail kwāl to cower: to fail in spirit:
    • v.t Quail to subdue: to terrify
    • n Quail kwāl a small gallinaceous bird, related to the partridge family:
    • v.i Quail kwāl (Shak.) to slacken
    • n Quail kwāl (Shak.) a whore
    • ***


  • Thomas F. Kennedy
    Thomas F. Kennedy
    “Ideas lose themselves as quickly as quail, and one must wing them the minute they rise out of the grass, or they are gone.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. cwelan, to die, perish; akin to cwalu, violent death, D. kwaal, pain, G. qual, torment, OHG. quelan, to suffer torment, Lith. gelti, to hurt, gela, pain. Cf. Quell
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. quaille—Low L. quaquila—Old Dut. quakele; cf. Low Ger. quackel, and Quack.


In literature:

Buffaloes in herds, grouse in broods, quail in flocks, the human race in circles.
"The Wedding Ring" by T. De Witt Talmage
The quail has many children, and I will ask her for one of them.
"The Book of Nature Myths" by Florence Holbrook
Take a quail and raise his legs and his wings as an hen, and no sauce but salt.
"The accomplisht cook" by Robert May
Before this reality, however, Godfrey, let it be said to his credit, did not quail.
"Godfrey Morgan" by Jules Verne
Sprudell's eyes quailed a little beneath the fierce intensity of Bruce's gaze, but for a moment only.
"The Man from the Bitter Roots" by Caroline Lockhart
The observations of modern travellers have confirmed in a very interesting manner the account given us of quails in the Bible.
"Mamma's Stories about Birds" by Anonymous (AKA the author of "Chickseed without Chickweed")
He ate with a relish and spoke several times about the quail being so very fine, and suggested that I try one.
"Twenty Years of Hus'ling" by J. P. Johnston
Despite themselves de Peyster and Caldwell quailed.
"The Border Watch" by Joseph A. Altsheler
But he did not quail before the steady gaze of the English.
"Four American Indians" by Edson L. Whitney
It would have caused the stoutest heart to quail, and Lucien's was terrified.
"Popular Adventure Tales" by Mayne Reid

In poetry:

Kings at her splendour quailed.
For all his triple steel
She haled
War at her chariot-wheel.
"Art" by Alfred Noyes
We promised loud, and boasted high,
"To break our country's chains, or die;"
And, should we quail, that country's name
Will be the synonym of shame.
"We Must Not Fail" by Thomas Osborne Davis
"I sing to cheer them that they may not quail,
Nor shrink amid life's busy toil and pain;
But if through all the weary fight they fail
To use the second watchword, all is vain."
"The Two Watchwords" by Alexander Anderson
Then back he bends, and to earth descends—
Cloud-rending stormer, the world he shaketh!
Pale Fear lies wailing, the brave are quailing
The proud he humbles, the strong he breaketh.
"The Wind Unbound." by Samuel Bamford
Then let our tongues fresh music make,
And sound his wondrous praise abroad;
And when the Universe shall quake,
And Nature quail before her God,
We'll join the angels' choir above,
And sing our Lord's unchanging love.
"Ode To Music" by James Monroe Whitfield
And would not fear, at my coming then,
Hush every voice in the homes of men?
Would not bright eyes in my presence quail?
Young cheeks with a nameless thrill turn pale?
No gift be mine that aside would turn
The human love for whose founts I yearn!
"Fairy Favours" by Felicia Dorothea Hemans

In news:

Bid on GOLF PACKAGES for courses like the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Quail Crossing, Victoria National, Cambridge, and Rolling Hills.
6344 Quail Meadow Cove, Bartlett, TN, 38135.
About Quail ridge Highlands .
'Christmas at the Hollow ' to be staged at Quail Hollow Park.
Whereas sniffer-shy quail still attempted to mate with females, the researchers suspect the males were being driven by sight—birds' primary romantic trigger.
This image of a quail sits alongside the road near the Carmela Vineyards in Glenns Ferry.
Guide Ryan Boutcher demonstrates how to use the paddle with Quail Rock in the background.
Concorso Italiano and The Quail.
Quail @goosefootchi needed a little something.
Throughout September and October, metro movie buffs will get a chance to see some late night classics and more recent releases at the AMC Quail Spri.
Founder's retirement means new chapter for Quail Ridge Books.
Diamond Bar's Quail Summit Hosts Zumba For a Cure.
The congregation at Forest Hill's SouthPark campus is collecting school supplies for students at Quail Hollow Middle School.
A no contact advisory for Quail Creek in Spring Lake Township was lifted as of Wednesday.
Use this restaurant-ready recipe for sautéed quail breast when you want to pull out all of the stops for guests.