Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


English Wikipedia has articles on:

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old French covee (Modern French couvée), from Latin cubō (lie).



English Wikipedia has an article on:

covey (plural coveys)

  1. A group of 8-12 (or more) quail. See gaggle, host, flock.
  2. A brood of partridges, grouse, etc.
  3. 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.


covey (third-person singular simple present coveys, present participle coveying, simple past and past participle coveyed)

  1. To brood; to incubate.
    • Holland
      [Tortoises] covey a whole year 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

Etymology 2[edit]

cove +‎ -y



covey (plural coveys)

  1. (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—
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.