rock dove


: a bluish-gray dove (Columba livia) that is indigenous to Eurasia but has been widely established elsewhere including most of North America and that is the ancestor of many domesticated pigeons and of the feral pigeons found in cities and towns throughout most of the world

called also rock pigeon

Examples of rock dove in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The official common name of the pigeon was recently changed from rock dove to rock pigeon. Lyanda Lynn Haupt, Discover Magazine, 19 Nov. 2013 Feral pigeons are descended from the rock dove, which naturally inhabits sea cliffs and mountains. Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, 10 Mar. 2021 The feral pigeons that inhabit the city today are the descendants of wild rock pigeons, also known as rock doves, which are native to Europe, northern Africa and southwestern Asia. Keith Williams, New York Times, 23 May 2018

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

Word History

First Known Use

1655, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rock dove was in 1655

Dictionary Entries Near rock dove

Cite this Entry

“Rock dove.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

rock dove

: a bluish gray dove of Europe and Asia that is found throughout most of North America compare pigeon

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