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[fez-uh nt] /ˈfɛz ənt/
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.
Origin of pheasant
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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pheasant
  • 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.
  • The pheasant enhancement program provides for habitat enhancements.
  • Summer marks the brooding stage in the pheasant reproductive cycle.
  • In regions of the state where corn and sunflowers are abundant, these grains become staples in the pheasant diet.
British Dictionary definitions for pheasant


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
any of various other gallinaceous birds of the family Phasianidae, including the quails and partridges
(US & Canadian) any of several other gallinaceous birds, esp the ruffed grouse
Word Origin
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pheasant

late 13c. (mid-12c. as a surname), from Anglo-French fesaunt, Old French faisan (13c.) "pheasant," from Latin phasianus, from Greek phasianos "a pheasant," literally "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 English late 14c. (see ph). The excrescent -t is due to confusion with -ant suffix of nouns formed from present participle of verbs in first Latin conjugation (peasant, tyrant, etc.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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