par·​tridge | \ˈpär-trij, 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

With their numbers down by 90 percent, France’s grey partridge populations have essentially collapsed. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Pesticides Have Led to a ‘Catastrophic’ Decline in France’s Bird Populations," 22 Mar. 2018 The Arabian Desert abounded with the houbara bustard, a migratory, partridge-like fowl found in arid habitats across Asia and northern Africa. New York Times, "In Dubai, Flying With the Falcons," 17 Jan. 2018 Red-legged partridge 100% Yellowhammer Habitat fragmentation and hunting have chipped away at the native bird’s numbers. Tim Graham, National Geographic, "Around the World, Farmland Birds Are in Steep Decline," 1 June 2018 Just kidding — there is no partridge in a pear tree in the box set. George Varga,, "Guns N' Roses to release 'Appetite for Destruction'' box set: Here's the full song list.," 3 May 2018 Even the royal canines ate well — a mixture of fresh rabbit, partridge, and pheasant. Kara Baskin,, "Getting Salty with James Gibney of the British Beer Company," 30 Apr. 2018 And so his initial impulse maybe in the work was to also elevate me and put me in these settings with partridges and scepters, and thrones and chifforobes and mounting me on horses. Tierney Mcafee,, "Barack and Michelle Obama Unveil Their New Official Portraits," 12 Feb. 2018 His idea of a good lunch included a dozen oysters, a spider crab with a half pint of mayonnaise, a dish of tripes à la mode de Caen, a partridge poached in cream and cider, a leg of lamb, a couple of steaks and a good Pont l’Évêque. Moira Hodgson, WSJ, "Review: The American ‘Gourmands’ Way’ Through France," 17 Nov. 2017 The women either take part in the shooting of partridges and pheasants or help with tallying their partner’s haul., "Will Animal Lover Meghan Markle Join Prince Harry for the Annual Royal Christmas Hunt?," 14 Dec. 2017

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

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

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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 \
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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Comments on partridge

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


playful or foolish behavior

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