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  Dictionary Definition of quail

quail [1]
noun ( plural quails or, especially collectively, quail )

1. in Australia, a. any of several small ground-dwelling birds of the family Phasianidae, heavy-bodied with small heads, short legs and rounded wings, as the stubble quail, Coturnix pectoralis. b. bustard quail. c. plains wanderer.
2. elsewhere, a. a small migratory Old World gallinaceous game bird, Coturnix coturnix. b. any of several other birds of the genus Coturnix and allied genera.
[ME quaille, from OF; of Gmc origin. Cf. D kwakkel quail, and MD, MLG quackele, akin to QUACK1 ]