\ 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 The fowl is believed to have slipped across state lines, expanding the number of agencies on its trail, including D.C.’s Department of Energy, Prince George’s County Parks and Recreation Department, and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Bradford Betz, Fox News, 2 May 2022 But Whiteaker mounted an unusual defense, one unheard of among other incidents of chicken-loving Michiganders whose fowl have run afoul of the law. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, 23 Mar. 2022 The warming waters contribute to sea level rise and have implications for migratory patterns and survival of fish and fowl. David Sharp,, 28 Mar. 2022 League staff members have bestowed upon the fowl the name of Henny Penny, said the league. Washington Post, 2 Feb. 2022 At this point, the only fowl that have been detected with the disease in the U.S. are migratory birds. oregonlive, 8 Feb. 2022 For residents worried about noises, there would be a prohibition of roosters, limiting the fowl option to hens. Daniel I. Dorfman,, 26 Jan. 2022 There was fowl, fish, eel, shellfish and possibly cranberries from the area’s natural bogs. Dana Hedgpeth, Anchorage Daily News, 25 Nov. 2021 This fowl ubiquity is a relatively new development on the Cape. Eric Williams, USA TODAY, 23 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 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.

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

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Last Updated

6 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fowl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for fowl


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on fowl

Nglish: Translation of fowl for Spanish Speakers

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


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