any of numerous large, usually long-tailed, Old World gallinaceous birds of the family Phasianidae, widely introduced.
any of various other birds that resemble or suggest a pheasant.
Southern U.S. the ruffed grouse.

1250–1300; Middle English fesaunt < Anglo-French; Old French fesan < Latin phāsiānus < Greek phāsiānós (órnis) (bird) of the Phasis, river in the Caucasus Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pheasant (ˈfɛzənt)
1.  any of various long-tailed gallinaceous birds of the family Phasianidae, esp Phasianus colchicus (ring-necked pheasant), having a brightly-coloured plumage in the male: native to Asia but introduced elsewhere
2.  any of various other gallinaceous birds of the family Phasianidae, including the quails and partridges
3.  (US), (Canadian) any of several other gallinaceous birds, esp the ruffed grouse
[C13: from Old French fesan, from Latin phāsiānus, from Greek phasianos ornis Phasian bird, named after the River Phasis, in Colchis]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1299, from Anglo-Fr. fesaunt, O.Fr. faisan (13c.), from L. phasianus, from Gk. phasianos "a pheasant," lit. "Phasian bird," from Phasis, river flowing into the Black Sea in Colchis, where the birds were said to have been numerous. The ph- was restored in Eng. late 14c. The excrescent -t is due to confusion
with -ant suffix of nouns formed from prp. of verbs in first L. conjugation (peasant, tyrant, etc.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The pheasant grew so large that, when other birds challenged it for seed, it
  would simply frighten them away.
After some songs, the main course is revealed: a stuffed pheasant.
No game species introduced to this continent has been as successful as the
  ring-necked pheasant.
Pheasant populations can recover if there's enough good habitat to go around.
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