country W Asia & SE Europe between Mediterranean & Black seas; formerly center of an empire (∗ Constantinople), since 1923 a republic ∗ Ankara area 301,380 square miles (780,574 square kilometers), pop 73,085,000 — see ottoman empire
: a large North American bird related to the chicken and widely raised for food
Word History of TURKEY
The plump, chicken-like birds called guinea fowl are of African origin. However, they were introduced into Europe from Mediterranean lands controlled by Turkey, so that in English they were frequently called turkey-cocks or turkey-hens in the 1500s. When the North American birds that we call turkeys entered Europe, they were at first thought to be varieties of guinea fowl and so were also called turkey-cocks, later shortened to turkeys. This name fell out of use for guinea fowl—whose current name more accurately reflects their origin, since Guinea is an old name for West Africa—but it has been kept for the American bird.
Definition of TURKEY for Kids
country W Asia & SE Europe between Mediterranean & Black seas; capital, Ankara