A partridge is a wild brown bird. What is that partridge doing in a pear tree in the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas"? Who knows, since most partridges live on the ground and hardly ever climb trees.

Partridges are popular with European hunters, but there are very few partridges in North America, although some have been introduced as game birds. The word partridge comes from the Greek perdix and can ultimately be traced back to a Sanskrit word that mimics the whirring sound of a bird's wings.

Definitions of partridge
  1. noun
    heavy-bodied small-winged South American game bird resembling a gallinaceous bird but related to the ratite birds
    synonyms: tinamou
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    type of:
    game bird
    any bird (as grouse or pheasant) that is hunted for sport
  2. noun
    a popular North American game bird; named for its call
    synonyms: bobwhite, bobwhite quail
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    Colinus virginianus, northern bobwhite
    a favorite game bird of eastern and central United States
    type of:
    small gallinaceous game birds
  3. noun
    small Old World gallinaceous game birds
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    Hungarian partridge, Perdix perdix, gray partridge, grey partridge
    common European partridge
    Alectoris ruffa, red-legged partridge
    common western European partridge with red legs
    Alectoris graeca, Greek partridge, rock partridge
    of mountainous areas of southern Europe
    Oreortyx picta palmeri, mountain partridge, mountain quail
    California partridge; slightly larger than the California quail
    type of:
    a kind of game bird in the family Phasianidae
  4. noun
    flesh of either quail or grouse
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    type of:
    flesh of any of a number of wild game birds suitable for food
  5. noun
    valued as a game bird in eastern United States and Canada
    synonyms: Bonasa umbellus, ruffed grouse
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    type of:
    popular game bird having a plump body and feathered legs and feet
Word Family

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