turkey

noun
tur·​key | \ ˈtər-kē How to pronounce turkey (audio) \
plural turkeys

Definition of turkey

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

Turkey

geographical name
Tur·​key | \ ˈtər-kē How to pronounce Turkey (audio) \
variants: or Turkish Türkiye \ ˌtᵫr-​kē-​ˈye How to pronounce Türkiye (audio) \

Definition of Turkey (Entry 2 of 2)

country in western Asia and southeastern Europe between the Mediterranean and Black seas; capital Ankara area 301,380 square miles (780,574 square kilometers), population 73,085,000 — 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

Illustration of turkey

Illustration of turkey

Noun

turkey 1

In the meaning defined above

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Synonyms for turkey

Synonyms: Noun

berk [British], booby, charlie (also charley) [British], cuckoo, ding-a-ling, ding-dong, dingbat, dipstick, doofus [slang], featherhead, fool, git [British], goose, half-wit, jackass, lunatic, mooncalf, nincompoop, ninny, ninnyhammer, nit [chiefly British], nitwit, nut, nutcase, simp, simpleton, yo-yo

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Examples of turkey in a Sentence

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

Today’s college students rely on their ID cards for almost everything, including using them to get into the gym or to buy the cafeteria’s beloved turkey-avocado sandwich. Jay Peters, The Verge, "Apple’s tap-to-use student IDs let pupils buy food and badge into their dorms," 13 Aug. 2019 Remember last Thanksgiving, when your Uncle George insisted on deep-frying the turkey—and then had to ask Alexa to call the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line for help? Anne Fisher, Fortune, "‘You’re Pretty Stupid.’ What Can Happen to Your Business When A.I. Goes Awry," 10 Aug. 2019 The beef and turkey burgers each have about 19 to 21 grams of protein, depending on the brand. Lisa Drayer, CNN, "They might be better for the planet, but are plant-based burgers good for you?," 9 Aug. 2019 Hydration 4 glasses of water Breakfast 2 scrambled egg whites 2 slices of organic turkey bacon 1 piece of Dave’s Killer Bread with 1 tbsp. Julie Mazziotta, PEOPLE.com, "How Teddi Mellencamp Finds ‘Balance’ in Her Meals After Previously Weighing ‘Over 200 Lbs.’," 6 Aug. 2019 The turkeys cannot be helped until they are caught, Makridakis said. Alyssa Lukpat, BostonGlobe.com, "Two turkeys shot with arrows in Sudbury; police look for suspects," 5 Aug. 2019 There is also a blanket of turkey mullein or doveweed, a pale green, furry, low growing native plant that provides dove with a good source of seed. Ernie Cowan, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Wet winter brings variety of visitors to garden," 3 Aug. 2019 As May eased into June, wild turkey hens trailing clusters of fist-size poults began appearing in pastures, fields, senderos and other open, grassy places across the state. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Texas turkeys thriving after mild, wet spring," 8 June 2019 Bobcats mostly go after smaller game — rabbits, rodents, squirrels and young turkeys. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Are bobcats moving into Lafayette?," 31 July 2019

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.

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First Known Use of turkey

Noun

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for turkey

Noun

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

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Learn More about turkey

Dictionary Entries near turkey

Türk cell

Turkdom

turken

turkey

Turkey

turkeyback

turkey beard

Statistics for turkey

Last Updated

19 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for turkey

The first known use of turkey was in 1555

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More Definitions for turkey

turkey

noun

English Language Learners Definition of turkey

: a large American bird that is related to the chicken and that is hunted or raised by people for its meat
: the meat of the turkey used as food
: something (such as a play or movie) that has failed

turkey

noun
tur·​key | \ ˈtər-kē How to pronounce turkey (audio) \
plural turkeys

Kids Definition of turkey

: a large North American bird related to the chicken and widely raised for food

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More from Merriam-Webster on turkey

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with turkey

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for turkey

Spanish Central: Translation of turkey

Nglish: Translation of turkey for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of turkey for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about turkey

Comments on turkey

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

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