par·​tridge | \ ˈpär-trij How to pronounce partridge (audio) , dialectal ˈpa-trij \
plural partridge or partridges

Definition of partridge

1 : any of various typically medium-sized stout-bodied Old World gallinaceous birds (Perdix, Alectoris, and related genera) with variegated plumage that are often hunted as game
2 : any of various related birds (such as the American ruffed grouse or bobwhite) resembling the Old World partridges in size, habits, or value as game

Illustration of partridge

Illustration of partridge

partridge 1

Examples of partridge in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Retreating to the women’s college, she would be greeted by a dinner of plain beef and sprouts, with prunes for dessert, while the male scholars were fortified by sole and partridges and bottomless goblets of wine. Ruth Franklin, Harper's Magazine, "Splinters and Mosaics," 25 May 2020 The expanded hunting opportunities in Oregon would include migratory bird, quail and partridge hunting at Hart Mountain, goose hunting at Nestucca Bay and migratory bird hunting at Wapato Lake. oregonlive, "Massive hunting, fishing expansion would open up Oregon wildlife refuges," 8 Apr. 2020 Another day, Mike Sertich, then an assistant coach, opened his locker at the Duluth rink, and a partridge flew out. John Rosengren, Washington Post, "An Olympic Hockey Hero, a Violent Crime and the Specter of Brain Trauma," 12 Feb. 2020 With a yellow silk body, small thorax of beaver dubbing, and sparse Hungarian partridge hackle, the Partridge and Yellow is easy to whip up on the vise. Joe Cermele, Outdoor Life, "Stock Up on these Overlooked, Old-School Trout Flies," 2 Mar. 2020 This would take a sizable bit of demolition, new cabinets, granite countertops, tile, fixtures, dividers, four sinks, four toilets, two urinals and a partridge in a pear tree. Lorraine Hart, Houston Chronicle, "GHBA Remodelers Council: A Christmas remodeling miracle," 21 Dec. 2019 Forget partridges, forget turtle doves and maids milking and fiiiiiiiive golden rings and all that nonsense. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Epic's giving away 12 free games over 12 days to finish out 2019," 19 Dec. 2019 Who can’t recall at least a few of the strange and downright silly-sounding gifts mentioned (repeatedly) in the lyrics, which range from a partridge in a pear tree all the way up to 12 drummers drumming? Jill Gleeson, Country Living, "Here's What to Know About the '12 Days of Christmas' Meaning," 20 Nov. 2019 The partridge in a pear tree is said to represent Jesus; the two turtle doves are supposedly The Old and New Testaments; the three French hens are purportedly Faith, Hope, and Charity, the theological virtues, and so on. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, "Here's What to Know About the '12 Days of Christmas' Meaning," 20 Nov. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for partridge

Middle English partrich, modification of Anglo-French perdriz, alteration of Old French perdix, from Latin perdic-, perdix, from Greek perdik-, perdix

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Time Traveler for partridge

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Partridge.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for partridge


How to pronounce partridge (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of partridge

: a brown bird with a round body and short tail that is often hunted for food and sport


par·​tridge | \ ˈpär-trij How to pronounce partridge (audio) \
plural partridge or partridges

Kids Definition of partridge

: a plump grayish brown bird that lives mostly on the ground and is sometimes hunted for food or sport

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More from Merriam-Webster on partridge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with partridge

Spanish Central: Translation of partridge

Nglish: Translation of partridge for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about partridge

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