Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Any of various waterbirds of the family Rallidae, frequenting swampy regions and characteristically having dark iridescent plumage and a colorful area where the bill extends onto the forehead.
[Latin gallīnula, pullet, diminutive of gallīna, hen; see gallinaceous.]
1. (Animals) any of various aquatic birds of the genera Porphyrio and Porphyrula, typically having a dark plumage, red bill, and a red shield above the bill: family Rallidae (rails)
2. (Animals) common gallinule the US name for moorhen1
[C18: from New Latin Gallīnula genus name, from Late Latin: pullet, chicken, from Latin gallīna hen]
gal•li•nule(ˈgæl əˌnul, -ˌnyul)
any of several typically brightly colored aquatic rails of the genera Porphyrio, Porphyrula, and Gallinula, having elongated, webless toes.
[1770–80; < New Latin Gallinula a genus name, Late Latin gallīnula chicken = Latin gallīn(a) hen + -ula -ule]
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||gallinule - any of various small aquatic birds of the genus Gallinula distinguished from rails by a frontal shield and a resemblance to domestic hens|
aquatic bird - wading and swimming and diving birds of either fresh or salt water
purple gallinule - gallinules with showy purplish plumage