The Collaborative International Dictionary
Pigeon \Pi"geon\, n. [F., fr. L. pipio a young pipping or chirping bird, fr. pipire to peep, chirp. Cf. Peep to chirp.]
(Zo["o]l.) Any bird of the order Columb[ae], of which numerous species occur in nearly all parts of the world.
Note: The common domestic pigeon, or dove, was derived from the Old World rock pigeon or rock dove ( Columba livia), common in cities. It has given rise to numerous very remarkable varieties, such as the carrier, fantail, nun, pouter, tumbler, etc. The common wild pigeon of the Eastern United States is the Mourning dove ( Zenaida macroura, called also Carolina dove). Before the 19th century, the most common pigeon was the passenger pigeon, but that species is now extinct. See Passenger pigeon, and Carolina dove under Dove. See, also, Fruit pigeon, Ground pigeon, Queen pigeon, Stock pigeon, under Fruit, Ground, etc.
An unsuspected victim of sharpers; a gull. [Slang] Blue pigeon (Zo["o]l.), an Australian passerine bird ( Graucalus melanops); -- called also black-faced crow. Green pigeon (Zo["o]l.), any one of numerous species of Old World pigeons belonging to the family Treronid[ae]. Imperial pigeon (Zo["o]l.), any one of the large Asiatic fruit pigeons of the genus Carpophada. Pigeon berry (Bot.), the purplish black fruit of the pokeweed; also, the plant itself. See Pokeweed. Pigeon English [perhaps a corruption of business English], an extraordinary and grotesque dialect, employed in the commercial cities of China, as the medium of communication between foreign merchants and the Chinese. Its base is English, with a mixture of Portuguese and Hindustani. --Johnson's Cyc. Pigeon grass (Bot.), a kind of foxtail grass ( Setaria glauca), of some value as fodder. The seeds are eagerly eaten by pigeons and other birds. Pigeon hawk. (Zo["o]l.)
A small American falcon ( Falco columbarius). The adult male is dark slate-blue above, streaked with black on the back; beneath, whitish or buff, streaked with brown. The tail is banded.
The American sharp-shinned hawk ( Accipiter velox or Accipiter fuscus). Pigeon hole.
A hole for pigeons to enter a pigeon house.
pl. An old English game, in which balls were rolled through little arches. --Halliwell. Pigeon house, a dovecote. Pigeon pea (Bot.), the seed of Cajanus Indicus; a kind of pulse used for food in the East and West Indies; also, the plant itself. Pigeon plum (Bot.), the edible drupes of two West African species of Chrysobalanus ( Chrysobalanus ellipticus and Chrysobalanus luteus). Pigeon tremex. (Zo["o]l.) See under Tremex. Pigeon wood (Bot.), a name in the West Indies for the wood of several very different kinds of trees, species of Dipholis, Diospyros, and Coccoloba. Pigeon woodpecker (Zo["o]l.), the flicker. Prairie pigeon. (Zo["o]l.)
The upland plover.
The golden plover. [Local, U.S.]