noun \ˈwd-ˌkäk\

: a brown bird that has a short neck and long bill and that is often hunted

plural woodcocks

Full Definition of WOODCOCK

or plural woodcock :  a widespread Old World woodland game bird (Scolopax rusticola) of the sandpiper family that has a long bill and large eyes; also :  a smaller related woodland game bird (S. minor syn. Philohela minor) of eastern North America
[from the ease with which the woodcock is snared] archaic :  simpleton

First Known Use of WOODCOCK

before 12th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of five species (family Scolopacidae) of plump, sharp-billed migratory birds of damp, dense woodlands in North America, Europe, and Asia. With eyes set far back on the head, a woodcock has a 360° field of vision. The buffy-brown, mottled plumage provides camouflage. A solitary bird, most active at dusk, it drums its feet to coax earthworms to the surface and then extracts them with its long, forceps-like bill; it may eat twice its weight in worms each day. The female American woodcock (Scolopax,or Philohela, minor) is about 11 in. (28 cm) long; the male is slightly smaller. The male's striking courtship display includes a long, repeated spiraling and dropping sequence. Woodcocks have been popular game birds.


Next Word in the Dictionary: woodcock snipe
Previous Word in the Dictionary: wood coal
All Words Near: woodcock

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up woodcock? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More