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A shuttlecock.


From shuttle (from the back-and-forth sense of the word originating with loom weaving) + cock (from resemblance to a male bird's plume of tail feathers).


shuttlecock (plural shuttlecocks)

  1. (badminton) A lightweight object that is conical in shape with a cork or rubber-covered nose, used in badminton the way a ball is used in other racquet games. [from early 16th c.]
    • 1851, Melville, Herman, Moby-Dick, ch. 123:
      In a severe gale like this, while the ship is but a tossed shuttlecock to the blast, it is by no means uncommon to see the needles in the compasses, at intervals, go round and round.
    • 1859, Landells, Ebenezer, The Boy's Own Toy-maker, page 122:
      The practice of the game in this country is to keep the shuttlecock in the air by striking it from one person to another.
    • 1897, James, Henry, What Maisie Knew, ch. 2:
      Crudely as they had calculated they were at first justified by the event: she was the little feathered shuttlecock they could fiercely keep flying between them.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:shuttlecock.
  2. (dated) The game of badminton.
    • 1830, Mrs. Marcet (Jane Haldimand), Bertha's visit to her uncle in England (volume 3, page 105)
      Two people stand at opposite ends of the room, as in playing shuttlecock []


  • (lightweight object used in badminton): birdie


Related terms[edit]


shuttlecock (third-person singular simple present shuttlecocks, present participle shuttlecocking, simple past and past participle shuttlecocked)

  1. To move rapidly back and forth
  2. To send or toss back and forth; to bandy
    to shuttlecock words
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Thackeray to this entry?)


External links[edit]