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See also: Covey
From Old French covee (Modern French couvée), from Latin cubō (“lie”).
covey (plural covies or coveys)
- A group of 8–12 (or more) quail.
- 1952, Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man, Penguin Books (2014), page 55:
- “Like when you quail huntinʼ and itʼs getting dark and you can hear the boss bird whistlinʼ tryinʼ to get the covey together again.”
- A brood of partridges, grouse, etc.
- 1601, C[aius] Plinius Secundus [i.e., Pliny the Elder], “(please specify |book=I to XXXVII)”, in Philemon Holland, transl., The Historie of the VVorld. Commonly Called, The Natvrall Historie of C. Plinivs Secvndus. […], (please specify |tome=1 or 2), London: […] Adam Islip, published 1635, →OCLC:
- laid for by the fowler, together with their covey of young birds
- A party or group (of persons or things).
- 1906, O. Henry, The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein:
- The store is on a corner about which coveys of ragged-plumed, hilarious children play and become candidates for the cough drops and soothing syrups that wait for them inside.
- 1982, Lawrence Durrell, Constance, Faber & Faber 2004 (Avignon Quintet), p. 736
- A covey of grey soldiers clanked down the platform at the double with their equipment and embarked, but in absolute silence, which seemed to them very singular.
A group of 8–12 (or more) quail
A brood of partridges, grouse, etc.
A party or group (of persons or things)
covey (third-person singular simple present coveys, present participle coveying, simple past and past participle coveyed)
- (intransitive) To brood; to incubate.
- 1601, C[aius] Plinius Secundus [i.e., Pliny the Elder], “(please specify |book=I to XXXVII)”, in Philemon Holland, transl., The Historie of the VVorld. Commonly Called, The Natvrall Historie of C. Plinivs Secvndus. […], (please specify |tome=1 or 2), London: […] Adam Islip, published 1635, →OCLC:Book 9
- [Tortoises] couvie a whole yeere before they hatch
- 1869, Florida. Commissioner of Lands and Immigration, Florida: Its Climate, Soil, and Productions, page 108:
- There is a duck called the raft duck, because it is so numerous, coveying together in "whole rafts."
- 1996, T.F. Hoad, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Etymology, Oxford University Press, →ISBN
covey (plural coveys)
- (Britain, slang, dated) A man.
- 1846, Justin Jones, The prince and the queen; or, Scenes in high life:
- 'Pooh!' said he, 'you are as easily wounded as an unfledged dove — don't mind what an old covey like me says — I understand it all.'
- 1850, Waldo Howard, The mistake of a life-time, or, The robber of the Rhine, page 140:
- There vas an old covey as lived in Wapping, at the time I'm telling you of, who vas connected vith us by ties of common interest.
- 1851, William Thomas Moncrieff, Selections from the dramatic works of William T. Moncrieff:
- I don't know what would become of these here young chaps, if it wasn't for such careful old coveys as we are—
slang: a man
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- English terms derived from Old French
- English terms derived from Latin
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- Rhymes:English/ʌvi/2 syllables
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- English nouns
- English countable nouns
- English nouns with irregular plurals
- English terms with quotations
- English verbs
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- English terms suffixed with -y
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- British English
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