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The Collaborative International Dictionary
carrier pigeons

Dove \Dove\ (d[u^]v), n. [OE. dove, duve, douve, AS. d[=u]fe; akin to OS. d[=u]ba, D. duif, OHG. t[=u]ba, G. taube, Icel. d[=u]fa, Sw. dufva, Dan. due, Goth. d[=u]b[=o]; perh. from the root of E. dive.]

  1. (Zo["o]l.) A pigeon of the genus Columba and various related genera. The species are numerous.

    Note: The domestic dove, including the varieties called fantails, tumblers, carrier pigeons, etc., was derived from the rock pigeon ( Columba livia) of Europe and Asia; the turtledove of Europe, celebrated for its sweet, plaintive note, is Columba turtur or Turtur vulgaris; the ringdove, the largest of European species, is Columba palumbus; the Carolina dove, or Mourning dove, is Zenaidura macroura; the sea dove is the little auk ( Mergulus alle or Alle alle). See Turtledove, Ground dove, and Rock pigeon. The dove is a symbol of peace, innocence, gentleness, and affection; also, in art and in the Scriptures, the typical symbol of the Holy Ghost.

  2. A word of endearment for one regarded as pure and gentle.

    O my dove, . . . let me hear thy voice.
    --Cant. ii. 14.

  3. a person advocating peace, compromise or conciliation rather than war or conflict. Opposite of hawk.

    Dove tick (Zo["o]l.), a mite ( Argas reflexus) which infests doves and other birds.

    Soiled dove, a prostitute. [Slang]

carrier pigeons

n. (carrier pigeon English)

Usage examples of "carrier pigeons".

The pigeon keeper, a young man about twenty-five, proved to be a squab breeder who kept a few carrier pigeons as a hobby.

If she were using carrier pigeons herself, it would be incredibly stupid of her to let us know she knew anything about them.

In a few moments of frenzied climbing, he reached the top and threw himself on the floor next to the cage of carrier pigeons.

But figure him and his people, the whole great business establishment, so far back that the best way to communicate with them rapidly would be by racing carrier pigeons.

They can be broken down or assembled in fifteen minutes, and six of the Carrier Pigeons can fit into each C-140.

We know how he distinguished himself by the simple expedient of using carrier pigeons in the Varron necklace affair.