cov·​ey ˈkə-vē How to pronounce covey (audio)
plural coveys
: a mature bird or pair of birds with a brood of young
also : a small flock
: 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 Once hatched, the chicks feed on insects, and the family group stays together, forming a covey that will remain together into the fall. Phil Bourjaily, Field & Stream, 28 Mar. 2024 Areas that always produce a covey were lifeless. Andrew McKean, Outdoor Life, 16 Sep. 2020 Home gardens may see nesting mourning dove, a covey of baby quail, or the miracle of tiny hummingbird chicks hatching from miniature eggs in a nest not much bigger than a large thimble. Ernie Cowan, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Aug. 2022 This slower afternoon there were couples strolling, a few runners, a covey of bicycles, a family out for an autumn city walk — kids, parents, an older woman moving carefully using a walker. Carl Nolte, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 Dec. 2021 Soon the covey moved on, and the quail whispers faded with them. San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Mar. 2021 Some mornings there will be a covey of as many as 30 quail feeding in our garden. San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Sep. 2019 Chukar also did well in southeast Oregon and coveys are relatively numerous in the popular Hells Canyon. oregonlive, 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, 3 Aug. 2019

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near covey

Cite this Entry

“Covey.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


cov·​ey ˈkəv-ē How to pronounce covey (audio)
plural coveys
: a small flock (as of quail)

More from Merriam-Webster on covey

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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