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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web While the majority of the products in this festive basket of goods saw prices increase, the cost of a partridge and four calling birds held steady. Alicia Wallace, CNN, 17 Nov. 2022 And by the end of Talos’s tale, he’d been turned into a partridge as protection from his now-jealous, murderous uncle. Popular Mechanics, 26 Jan. 2023 The breeder in western North Dakota had a fenced in area for their dogs that encompassed 20 acres and held pheasant and partridge habitat. Steve Meyer | Alaska Outdoors, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Dec. 2022 In an agricultural state like Kentucky, the costs of fertilizer and growing items have led to price spikes like a 25% increase for a partridge in a pear tree, which is reflective of pricing struggles across agriculture broadly. Olivia Evans, The Courier-Journal, 1 Dec. 2022 On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ... just a partridge? Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 1 Dec. 2022 Though these ‘Turtle doves’ are not accompanied by a partridge in a pear tree, the Zenaida Aurita is Anguilla’s national bird and can be found foraging for seeds everywhere on the island. Sandra Macgregor, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2022 Grouse and red deer, in season, comes from Balmoral, along with pheasant and partridge from Sandringham, and more pheasant from Windsor, too. Tom Parker Bowles, Town & Country, 15 May 2022 Zebari hunted the kaw, or chukar partridge, a game bird with zebra flanks that is an unofficial national bird of Kurdistan, prized for its song and meat. New York Times, 20 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near partridge

Cite this Entry

“Partridge.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


par·​tridge ˈpär-trij How to pronounce partridge (audio)
plural partridge or partridges
: any of several plump Old World birds related to the common chicken and often hunted as game
also : any of various North American birds (as a bobwhite or ruffed grouse) that are related to and resemble partridges of the Old World

More from Merriam-Webster on partridge

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