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Definition of PIGEON
: any of a widely distributed family (Columbidae, order Columbiformes) of birds with a stout body, rather short legs, and smooth and compact plumage; especially: a member of any of numerous varieties of the rock dove that exist in domestication and in the feral state in cities and towns throughout most of the world
: an object of special concern : accepted business or interest <tennis was not his pigeon>
Origin of PIGEON
alteration of pidgin
First Known Use: 1826
Plump, small-billed, monogamous birds of the family Columbidae, found almost worldwide and recognizable by their head-bobbing strut. Unlike other birds, pigeons suck liquids and provide the young with regurgitated pigeon's milk. The 175 species of true pigeons include the Old and New World Columba species and the Old World Streptopelia species; all eat seeds and fruit. Common street pigeons, or rock doves, are descendants of the Eurasian rock dove (Columba livia). From antiquity pigeons were trained to carry messages over long distances. About 115 species of fruit pigeons occur in Africa, southern Asia, Australia, and the Pacific islands. The three species of crowned pigeons (genus Goura), of New Guinea, are nearly the size of a turkey. See alsodove; mourning dove; passenger pigeon; turtledove.