peacock

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English[edit]

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A peacock.
A peacock

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English po (peacock) + coc (see cock (n.)). Po is from Old English pāwa (peafowl), from Latin pavo (gen. pavonis), which, with Ancient Greek ταώς (taōs), said to be ultimately from Tamil தோகை (tōkai) (but perhaps is imitative; Latin represented the peacock's sound as paupulo). Used as the type of a vainglorious person from late 14c. Its flesh superstitiously believed to be incorruptible (even St. Augustine credits this). "When he sees his feet, he screams wildly, thinking that they are not in keeping with the rest of his body."

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

peacock (plural peacocks)

  1. A male or female pheasant of the two genera: Pavo or Afropavo, whose males have extravagant tails.
  2. A vainglorious person

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