cov·​ey | \ ˈkə-vē How to pronounce covey (audio) \
plural coveys

Definition of covey

1 : a mature bird or pair of birds with a brood of young also : a small flock
2 : company, group a covey of schoolchildren

Examples of covey in a Sentence

A covey of schoolchildren approached. A covey of reporters came to the event.
Recent Examples on the Web Some mornings there will be a covey of as many as 30 quail feeding in our garden. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Nature’s morning wake-up call on Mt. Whoville," 21 Sep. 2019 Chukar also did well in southeast Oregon and coveys are relatively numerous in the popular Hells Canyon. oregonlive, "Oregon hunting preview 2019: Outlooks for deer, elk, bear, cougar, upland birds, waterfowl," 20 Sep. 2019 Small coveys will slip out of the native vegetation into our garden and gather every day at our seed feeders. Ernie Cowan, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Wet winter brings variety of visitors to garden," 3 Aug. 2019 The thin layer of ice on the washes sparkled in the sunshine, and occasionally a covey of birds exploded from beneath the brush, adding cymbals to an otherwise easy listening classical movement. Joe Drape, New York Times, "On an Arizona Road Trip, Miles of Family Firsts," 12 June 2018 Transported from Georgia, the covey of quail had been released from a crate just days after 10 inches of snow fell and trees came crashing down in the wind. Frank Kummer,, "Wild quail, nearly vanished in N.J., mount fragile comeback," 2 May 2018 The bird did not move even as the rest of the covey wavered at the periphery. Author: Christine Cunningham, Anchorage Daily News, "Two dogs, hunting by their own set of rules," 10 Apr. 2018 Once plowed under, the coveys of quail and the flocks of pheasants disappeared Following World War II, Ohio's pheasant population was estimated at 5 million., "Pheasant hunting a tradition for family, friends in the Buckeye State," 27 Oct. 2017 With a natural riparian area, the quail coveys are thriving, along with a family of California Greater Roadrunners, red-tail and cooper hawks, beneficial snakes like the coastal rosy boa, and the occasional golden eagle or snowy egret. Joyce Strand, Ramona Sentinel, "Ramona Ranch: First Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing designee in county," 20 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'covey.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of covey

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for covey

Middle English, from Anglo-French covee sitting (of hen), from cover to sit on, brood over, from Latin cubare to lie

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Time Traveler for covey

Time Traveler

The first known use of covey was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Covey.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for covey



English Language Learners Definition of covey

: a small flock of birds
: a small group of people or things


cov·​ey | \ ˈkə-vē How to pronounce covey (audio) \
plural coveys

Kids Definition of covey

1 : a small flock of birds a covey of quail
2 : group entry 1 sense 1 a covey of reporters

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More from Merriam-Webster on covey

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for covey

Nglish: Translation of covey for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of covey for Arabic Speakers

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