It was a sight at which the stoutest heart might have quailed, and Jason leapt back to the bank and dragged Sunlocks after him.
She used to like Tris, but these few months her love has all quailed away.
It was before Aunt Mary's shrewd, penetrating, loving gaze that Carley quailed.
But she looked at him; and under that 105 look Seth quailed and shrank.
For a moment Dowson quailed before her tone; but he rallied bravely.
The only thought before which he quailed was the thought that this could not last; that it must come to an end.
Bold as Captain Longfleet was, he quailed under the eye of the determined fur trader.
Dicksie quailed a little at the smile that went with the words.
I quailed and flinched before the painful conflict necessary to cast out the precious guest.
He thought she quailed the least bit before his searching look.
migratory game bird, late 14c. (early 14c. as a surname (Quayle), from Old French quaille (Modern French caille), perhaps via Medieval Latin quaccula (source also of Provençal calha, Italian quaglia, Old Spanish coalla), or directly from a Germanic source (cf. Dutch kwakkel, Old High German quahtala "quail," German Wachtel, Old English wihtel), imitative of the bird's cry. Or the English word might be directly from Proto-Germanic. Slang meaning "young attractive woman" first recorded 1859.
c.1400, "have a morbid craving;" early 15c., "grow feeble or sick;" mid-15c., "to fade, fail, give way," of unknown origin, perhaps from Middle Dutch quelen "to suffer, be ill," from Proto-Germanic *kwel- "to die" (see quell). Or from obsolete quail "to curdle" (late 14c.), from Old French coailler, from Latin coagulare (see coagulate). Sense of "lose heart, shrink, cower" is attested from 1550s. According to OED, common 1520-1650, then rare until 19c., when apparently it was revived by Scott. Related: Quailed; quailing.