1 of 2


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


2 of 2


fowled; fowling; fowls

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
Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoags sat down together to an autumn feast of venison and wild fowl. Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Nov. 2023 Eventually, turkey coq was shortened to turkey, and the flavorful fowl has remained a delicious darling on the tables of Europeans — and their colonial counterparts — ever since. Stephen C. George, Discover Magazine, 14 Nov. 2023 This Year’s Designs Previously, Target has released birds resembling witches or other spooky fowl. Christianna Silva, Better Homes & Gardens, 28 Oct. 2023 Current city ordinances do not allow for residential areas to harbor cattle, goats, swine, horses, poultry, fowl and pigeons. Richard Requena, Chicago Tribune, 22 Aug. 2023 Enslaved chefs blended African, Native American and European traditions to create unique Southern cuisines that featured roasted beef, veal, turkey, duck, fowl and ham. Rodney Coates, The Conversation, 14 Aug. 2023 David Peralta lifted a towering fly ball down the left-field line in fowl, er, foul territory Wednesday against the Detroit Tigers that nearly struck a duck. Steve Henson, Los Angeles Times, 21 Sep. 2023 Joyous shouts were heard as villagers dashed and splashed around in the water, trying to catch the fowl. Chris Pandolfo, Fox News, 18 Aug. 2023 Instead of a rear game bag, the Equinox employs that backpack space for more storage and includes a fowl slip noose on the shoulder strap to carry harvested game. Justin Park, Popular Mechanics, 25 May 2023
The Coast Guard tried using deploy prop fowling devices to stop the boat but were unsuccessful, according to the sheriff's office. Gina Martinez, CBS News, 2 Aug. 2023 This reflects both the impending asteroid impact and the similarity of Asteriornis to fowl birds. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 19 Mar. 2020 The typical hunter, whether the prey be fowl or four-legged, has traded in gear for a fishing pole. Matt Wyatt,, 12 Mar. 2020 Games include fowling — a game that combines football and bowling — as well as table tennis, foosball, air hockey and more. Robert Philpot,, 17 May 2017 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use


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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near fowl

Cite this Entry

“Fowl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
plural fowl or fowls
: a domestic cock or hen
especially : a full-grown hen
: any of several domesticated or wild birds related to the common domestic chicken
: the meat of fowl used as food


2 of 2 verb
: to hunt, catch, or kill wildfowl
fowler noun

More from Merriam-Webster on fowl

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!