\ ˈfau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce fowl (audio) \
plural fowl or fowls

Definition of fowl

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a bird of any kind — compare waterfowl, wildfowl
2a : a cock or hen of the domestic chicken (Gallus gallus) especially : an adult hen
b : any of several domesticated (see domesticate entry 1 sense 2) or wild gallinaceous birds — compare guinea fowl, jungle fowl
3 : the meat of fowls used as food roasted fowl


fowled; fowling; fowls

Definition of fowl (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to seek, catch, or kill wildfowl

Examples of fowl in a Sentence

Noun I spotted a long-legged fowl by the water's edge.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Those who prefer shooting down fowl that can truly fly can eat unlimited crow; but dove, quail, duck and geese have bag limits. George Mathis, ajc, "Georgia’s wild turkeys safe from Thanksgiving hunters," 25 Nov. 2019 The two previous production runs of the diffusers sold out at $3,900 each, and Markham is currently sourcing fowl for a third collection. Damona Hoffman, Washington Post, "She left her social media job to take up taxidermy. Now her work is on TV.," 19 Nov. 2019 Chicken on a Raft’s simple premise—visitors listen to an endless sailor song about a nautical fowl and time their endurance, to no end or reward—flies in the face of the modern internet’s nefarious click farms and sponsored content. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Sites That Mean the Most to Us," 1 Nov. 2019 There was only one condition for the contest: The winner must live in the continental United States (presumably to cut down on mailing costs for the hefty fowl). Megan Mccluskey, Time, "Glenn Close Is Sending Her Fans on a Wild Goose Chase to Win an Iconic Movie Prop," 11 Nov. 2019 The bailiff didn’t hear the fowl the first day, according to court documents. Adam Nossiter,, "‘The rooster must be defended’: France’s culture clash reaches a coop," 23 June 2019 The bailiff didn’t hear the fowl the first day, according to court documents. Adam Nossiter, New York Times, "‘The Rooster Must Be Defended’: France’s Culture Clash Reaches a Coop," 23 June 2019 Kenny Troiano hosts a weekly Bred to Perfection podcast show to inform breeders who want to buy and produce high-quality fowl. Ramona Sentinel, "Birding couple share tips for care and breeding of fowl," 12 Sep. 2019 But first, some fowl news:A 76-year-old woman was pecked to death by her rooster while gathering eggs. Ashley Shaffer, USA TODAY, "This is what 'total devastation' looks like," 4 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Games include fowling — a game that combines football and bowling — as well as table tennis, foosball, air hockey and more. Robert Philpot,, "Hanging out at 12 new patios in and around Fort Worth," 17 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fowl.' 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 fowl


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fowl

Noun and Verb

Middle English foul, from Old English fugel; akin to Old High German fogal bird, and probably to Old English flēogan to fly — more at fly

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Time Traveler for fowl

Time Traveler

The first known use of fowl was before the 12th century

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Statistics for fowl

Last Updated

8 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Fowl.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for fowl


How to pronounce fowl (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fowl

: a bird (such as a chicken) that is raised for food
: the meat of such a bird used as food
old-fashioned + humorous : a bird of any kind


\ ˈfau̇l How to pronounce fowl (audio) \
plural fowl or fowls

Kids Definition of fowl

1 : bird wild fowls
2 : a common domestic rooster or hen
3 : the meat of a domestic fowl used as food

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More from Merriam-Webster on fowl

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fowl

Spanish Central: Translation of fowl

Nglish: Translation of fowl for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fowl for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about fowl

Comments on fowl

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


heavy with or as if with moisture

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