Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


n. pl. cov·eys
1. A family or small flock of birds, especially partridge or quail.
2. A small group, as of persons.

[Middle English, from Old French covee, brood, from feminine past participle of cover, to incubate, from Latin cubāre, to lie down.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Zoology) a small flock of grouse or partridge
2. a small group, as of people
[C14: from Old French covee, from cover to sit on, hatch; see couvade]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈkʌv i)

n., pl. -eys.
1. a small group of game birds.
2. a group, set, or company.
[1400–50; Middle English, variant of covee < Anglo-French, Old French, n. use of feminine of past participle of cover to hatch < Latin cubāre to lie down]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


- Comes from French couver for the act of sitting on eggs ("covering" them) to hatch them.
See also related terms for hatch.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


 a flock of birds; a brood or hatch of birds; a family, party, or set of persons or things. See also bevy, company, covert.
Examples: covey of coxcombes, 1590; of new doctrines, 1641; of fiddlers, 1616; of girls; of grouse; of mathematicians, 1616; of partridges, 1440; of ptarmigan, 1835; of sage hens, 1868; of trumps [playing cards], 1839; of victims, 1827.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.covey - a small collection of people
assemblage, gathering - a group of persons together in one place
2.covey - a small flock of grouse or partridge
grouse - popular game bird having a plump body and feathered legs and feet
partridge - small Old World gallinaceous game birds
flock - a group of birds
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[ˈkʌvɪ] N
1. (Orn) → nidada f (de perdices)
2. (fig) → grupo m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈkʌvi] n [grouse, partridges] → compagnie f
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


n (of partridges)Kette f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in classic literature ?
He resolved to put me out, as he said, to be broken; and, for this purpose, he let me for one year to a man named Edward Covey. Mr.
Who would chirp you to sleep, or call for you the covey of answering birds?' The Birdcatcher spared his life, and determined to pick out a fine young Cock just attaining to his comb.
Little Jones went one day a shooting with the gamekeeper; when happening to spring a covey of partridges near the border of that manor over which Fortune, to fulfil the wise purposes of Nature, had planted one of the game consumers, the birds flew into it, and were marked (as it is called) by the two sportsmen, in some furze bushes, about two or three hundred paces beyond Mr Allworthy's dominions.
'Hullo, my covey! What's the row?' said this strange young gentleman to Oliver.
Levin knew Laska's method, wary and indefinite; he knew the place too and expected a whole covey of snipe.
Any one who has thrown a stone into a frog pond, or fired a shot into a covey of birds, can form an idea of the effect produced by these incongruous words, in the midst of the general attention.
There was now a covey of red birds feeding on one of the little islets to the left, or again a blue-green parrot flew shrieking from tree to tree.
'We shall very likely be up with another covey in five minutes,' said the long gamekeeper.
The landlord was all obsequious, and a relay of about seven negroes, old and young, male and female, little and big, were soon whizzing about, like a covey of partridges, bustling, hurrying, treading on each other's toes, and tumbling over each other, in their zeal to get Mas'r's room ready, while he seated himself easily on a chair in the middle of the room, and entered into conversation with the man who sat next to him.
In less than three minutes the covey round the Mark Boat had shipped their power-lights and whirred away upon their businesses.
'Is he also one of Us?' Kim ducked under a Mewar camel-driver's greasy armpit and cannoned off a covey of jabbering Sikh matrons.
The store is on a corner about which coveys of ragged-plumed, hilarious children play and become candidates for the cough drops and soothing syrups that wait for them inside.