turkey

1 of 2

noun

tur·​key ˈtər-kē How to pronounce turkey (audio)
plural turkeys
1
plural also turkey : a large North American gallinaceous bird (Meleagris gallopavo) that is domesticated in most parts of the world
2
: failure, flop
especially : a theatrical production that has failed
3
: three successive strikes in bowling
4
: a stupid, foolish, or inept person

Illustration of turkey

Illustration of turkey
  • turkey 1

Turkey

2 of 2

geographical name

Tur·​key ˈtər-kē How to pronounce Turkey (audio)
variants or Turkish Türkiye
country in western Asia and southeastern Europe between the Mediterranean and Black seas; capital Ankara area 302,535 square miles (783,562 square kilometers), population 81,257,000 see ottoman empire

Note: Turkey was formerly the center of an empire whose capital was Constantinople. Since 1923 it has been a republic.

see also turk sense 1

Example Sentences

Noun He was acting like a complete turkey. only a turkey would think it's a good idea to go for a jog when the weather drops below zero
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
For her Thanksgiving turkey, Asra Nomani uses spices common in her native India such as turmeric and paprika. William Mcgurn, WSJ, 21 Nov. 2022 Pick up your spirits, pick up your turkey at Bill Miller Bar-B-Q, Central Market, H-E-B and Luby’s. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, 10 Nov. 2022 That’s down from the 29% of shoppers in 2021 who planned to buy their turkey only a few days before Thanksgiving. Megan Leonhardt, Fortune, 7 Nov. 2022 Or for a more turkey-adjacent experience, Del Coro suggests poussin, a young chicken that weighs about 1 to 1½ pounds and is popular in Britain. Casey Barber, CNN, 6 Nov. 2022 Your Thanksgiving turkey is going to be a lot pricier this year. Joel Mathis, The Week, 27 Oct. 2022 Iowa alone, one of the top turkey-producing states, has lost more than 13 million birds to the avian flu. Amanda Pérez Pintado, USA TODAY, 24 Oct. 2022 If using an outdoor fryer, take this time to set your turkey up on the frying accessory. Nicole Papantoniou, Good Housekeeping, 24 Oct. 2022 Imagine turkey and all the fixings in the Pilgrims’ motherland. Donna Bulseco, WSJ, 3 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'turkey.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Turkey, country in western Asia and southeastern Europe; from confusion with the guinea fowl, supposed to be imported from Turkish territory

First Known Use

Noun

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of turkey was in 1555

Dictionary Entries Near turkey

Cite this Entry

“Turkey.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/turkey. Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

turkey

noun

tur·​key ˈtər-kē How to pronounce turkey (audio)
plural turkeys
1
plural also turkey : a large North American bird that is related to the domestic chicken and is domesticated in most parts of the world
2
: something that is a failure
the new play was a turkey
3
: a stupid or foolish person

More from Merriam-Webster on turkey

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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