woodcock

play
noun wood·cock \ˈwu̇d-ˌkäk\

Definition of woodcock

plural

woodcocks

  1. 1 or plural woodcock :  a :  a shorebird (Scolopax rusticola) of Europe and Asia that frequents moist woodlands, has large eyes and rounded wings, is of a variously mottled reddish-brown, black, and buff color with a barred chest, and is often hunted as game The woodcock has a long bill with a sensitive tip used especially for probing the ground for earthworms and insects. b :  a smaller related bird (Scolopax minor synonym Philohela minor) chiefly of eastern North America with a similar color pattern but having a solid orange buff chest

  2. 2 [from the ease with which the woodcock is snared] archaic :  simpleton

Recent Examples of woodcock from the Web

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

First Known Use of woodcock

before 12th century


WOODCOCK Defined for English Language Learners

woodcock

play
noun

Definition of woodcock for English Language Learners

  • : a brown bird that has a short neck and long bill and that is often hunted


WOODCOCK Defined for Kids

woodcock

play
noun wood·cock \ˈwu̇d-ˌkäk\

Definition of woodcock for Students

  1. :  a brownish bird that has a long bill and feeds chiefly on earthworms



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