1 [pij-uhn]
any bird of the family Columbidae, having a compact body and short legs, especially the larger species with square or rounded tails. Compare dove1 ( def 1 ).
a domesticated member of this family, as one of the varieties of the rock dove.
a young, usually attractive, girl.
a person who is easily fooled or cheated; dupe.
Poker Slang. a card, acquired in the draw, that greatly improves a hand or makes it a winner.

1350–1400; Middle English pejon young dove < Middle French pijon < Late Latin pīpiōn- (stem of pīpiō) squab, akin to pīpīre, pīpāre to chirp

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2 [pij-uhn]
(not in technical use) pidgin; pidgin English.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pigeon1 (ˈpɪdʒɪn)
1.  See rock dove any of numerous birds of the family Columbidae, having a heavy body, small head, short legs, and long pointed wings: order Columbiformes
2.  slang a victim or dupe
[C14: from Old French pijon young dove, from Late Latin pīpiō young bird, from pīpīre to chirp]

pigeon2 (ˈpɪdʒɪn)
informal (Brit) concern or responsibility (often in the phrase it's his, her, etc, pigeon)
[C19: altered from pidgin]

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

1211, from O.Fr. pijon "young dove," probably from V.L. *pibionem, dissimilation from L.L. pipionem "squab, young chirping bird" (3c.), acc. of L. pipio "chirping bird," from pipire "to peep, chirp," of imitative origin. Modern spelling is from later Fr. pigeon. Replaced culver (O.E. culufre, from V.L.
*columbra, from L. columbula) and native dove. Pigeonhole (1577) was originally a small recess for pigeons to nest in. The verb sense of "label mentally" is from 1870. Pigeon-toed first recorded 1801 (of horses).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Pigeon definition

Pigeons are mentioned as among the offerings which, by divine appointment, Abram presented unto the Lord (Gen. 15:9). They were afterwards enumerated among the sin-offerings (Lev. 1:14; 12:6), and the law provided that those who could not offer a lamb might offer two young pigeons (5:7; comp. Luke 2:24). (See DOVE.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see clay pigeon; stool pigeon.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
The attic was covered in pigeon feces and mites and pigeons were getting stuck
  and dying inside the walls of the house.
The nearest equivalent to tweeting, back then, was to send a message by carrier
Above are three frames of a pigeon flying in a wind tunnel.
At the end of the book is an overview map of the city, showing where the pigeon
Idioms & Phrases
Images for pigeon
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