cap·​er·​cail·​lie ˌka-pər-ˈkā-lē How to pronounce capercaillie (audio)
variants or capercailzie
plural capercaillie or capercailzies also capercaillies or capercailzie
: a very large European grouse (Tetrao urogallus) of hilly coniferous woodlands

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Now, with the body of a western capercaillie as evidence, authorities in southwestern Germany are trying to determine what happened., 12 Aug. 2019 With luck, spot an elusive capercaillie, an endemic Scottish crossbill, or a magnificent golden eagle. National Geographic, 12 June 2019 Concealed within these forests are Tengalman’s owl, capercaillie and black woodpecker. Smithsonian, 15 June 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'capercaillie.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Scottish Gaelic capalcoille, literally, horse of the woods

First Known Use

1536, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of capercaillie was in 1536

Dictionary Entries Near capercaillie

Cite this Entry

“Capercaillie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Mar. 2023.

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