pea·​fowl ˈpē-ˌfau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce peafowl (audio)
: any of three very large terrestrial pheasants (Pavo cristatus and P. muticus of southeastern Asia and Afropavo congensis of central Africa) often raised as ornamental fowls due to their usually colorful, iridescent plumage and especially for the long, trailing tail coverts of the male which can be held more or less erect and outspread see also peacock, peahen

Illustration of peafowl

Illustration of peafowl
  • A female (peahen)
  • B male (peacock)

Examples of peafowl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Peafowl is the common name for two bird species that belong to the genus Pavo: blue or Indian peafowl, which are originally from the Indian subcontinent and green peafowl, which are native to Southeast Asia. Jacqueline Pinedo, Sacramento Bee, 14 Apr. 2024 The birds are commonly known as peacocks, though the females are technically peahens, and both are peafowl. Sydney Page, Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2024 Peacock feathers through eyes of four different animals: (a) a peafowl; (b) humans; (c) honeybees; and (d) dogs. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 23 Jan. 2024 Controlling the peafowl overpopulation has been a challenge. Sandra Gutierrez, Popular Science, 25 Oct. 2023 This is the context in which Pinecrest, a Miami-Dade county municipality, pitched a vasectomy initiative to wane the presence of peafowl within its borders. Sandra Gutierrez, Popular Science, 25 Oct. 2023 Loud and flashy peafowl have taken over a suburb of Miami. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Aug. 2023 Finding a permanent home for peafowl became increasingly difficult over the years as trappers started refusing to deal with them and as once-reliable relocation sites, such as zoos, refused to take them. Jonathan Edwards, Washington Post, 11 Aug. 2023 In the affluent village of Pinecrest, the peafowl found larger lots with plenty of greenery that were far more to their liking. Patricia Mazzei Alfonso Duran, New York Times, 9 Aug. 2023

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

Word History


pea- (as in peacock) + fowl

First Known Use

circa 1790, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of peafowl was circa 1790

Dictionary Entries Near peafowl

Cite this Entry

“Peafowl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

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