moor hen
Gallinule Gal"li*nule, n. [L. gallinula chicken, dim. of gallina hen: cf. F. gallinule.] (Zo["o]l.) One of several wading birds, having long, webless toes, and a frontal shield, belonging to the family {Rallidae}. They are remarkable for running rapidly over marshes and on floating plants. The purple gallinule of America is {Ionornis Martinica}, that of the Old World is {Porphyrio porphyrio}. The common European gallinule ({Gallinula chloropus}) is also called {moor hen}, {water hen}, {water rail}, {moor coot}, {night bird}, and erroneously {dabchick}. Closely related to it is the Florida gallinule ({Gallinula galeata}). [1913 Webster]

Note: The purple gallinule of Southern Europe and Asia was formerly believed to be able to detect and report adultery, and for that reason, chiefly, it was commonly domesticated by the ancients. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Moor hen — Moor Moor, n. [OE. mor, AS. m[=o]r moor, morass; akin to D. moer moor, G. moor, and prob. to Goth. marei sea, E. mere. See {Mere} a lake.] 1. An extensive waste covered with patches of heath, and having a poor, light soil, but sometimes marshy,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • moor hen — moor hen, 1. the female red grouse; gorhen. 2. any one of various wading birds, such as the gallinule, rail, and coot …   Useful english dictionary

  • moor hen — moorhen moorhen n. (Zo[ o]l.) 1. A black gallinule ({Gallinula chloropus}) that inhabits ponds and lakes. Syn: {Gallinula chloropus}. [WordNet 1.5] 2. The female of the {moor fowl}; the {moor hen}. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • moor hen — female of the moor fowl; gallinule …   English contemporary dictionary

  • moor-hen — n. Gallinule, water hen, spotted crake (Gallinula chloropus, or Crex porzana) …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • moor-hen — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Moor — Moor, n. [OE. mor, AS. m[=o]r moor, morass; akin to D. moer moor, G. moor, and prob. to Goth. marei sea, E. mere. See {Mere} a lake.] 1. An extensive waste covered with patches of heath, and having a poor, light soil, but sometimes marshy, and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Moor buzzard — Moor Moor, n. [OE. mor, AS. m[=o]r moor, morass; akin to D. moer moor, G. moor, and prob. to Goth. marei sea, E. mere. See {Mere} a lake.] 1. An extensive waste covered with patches of heath, and having a poor, light soil, but sometimes marshy,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Moor coal — Moor Moor, n. [OE. mor, AS. m[=o]r moor, morass; akin to D. moer moor, G. moor, and prob. to Goth. marei sea, E. mere. See {Mere} a lake.] 1. An extensive waste covered with patches of heath, and having a poor, light soil, but sometimes marshy,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Moor cock — Moor Moor, n. [OE. mor, AS. m[=o]r moor, morass; akin to D. moer moor, G. moor, and prob. to Goth. marei sea, E. mere. See {Mere} a lake.] 1. An extensive waste covered with patches of heath, and having a poor, light soil, but sometimes marshy,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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