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A dovecote (1) with birds

Alternative forms[edit]


Compound of dove +‎ cote.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈdʌv.kɒt/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈdʌv.kɑt/
  • (file)


dovecote (plural dovecotes)

  1. A small house or box, raised to a considerable height above the ground, and having compartments, in which domestic pigeons breed; a dove house.
    Synonyms: columbarium, doocot (Scotland), dovehouse
    • c. 1608–1609, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene vi], page 30:
      If you haue writ your Annales true, 'tis there, / That like an Eagle in a Doue-cote, I / Flutter'd your Volcians in Corioles.
    • 2003, Peter Ackroyd, The Clerkenwell Tales, page 2:
      she could see the malt-house with its dovecote
  2. (historical) In medieval Europe, a round or square structure of stone or wood, free-standing or built into a tower, in which pigeons were kept.

Related terms[edit]