carrier pigeon
Homing Hom"ing (h[=o]m"[i^]ng), p. a. Home-returning; -- used specifically of carrier pigeons. [1913 Webster]

{Homing pigeon}, any pigeon trained to return home from a distance. Also called {carrier pigeon}. Most are bred from the domestic pigeon {Columba livia}. Homing pigeons are used for sending back messages or for flying races. By carrying the birds away and releasing them at gradually increasing distances from home, they may be trained to return with more or less certainty and promptness from distances up to four or five hundred miles. The birds typically do not stop on their way home, and may average as much as 60 miles per hour on their return trip. If the distance is increased much beyond 400 miles, the birds are unable to cover it without stopping for a prolonged rest, and their return becomes doubtful. The record for returnig from a distance is close to 1,200 miles. Homing pigeons are not bred for fancy points or special colors, but for strength, speed, endurance, and intelligence or homing instinct. Although used since ancient times, homing pigeons have been largely displaced for practical purposes by radio and electronic communications, but they are still used in some special situations at the end of the 20th century. They were used in military operations as recently as in World War II. [Webster 1913 Suppl. +PJC]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Carrier pigeon — Carrier Car ri*er, n. [From {Carry}.] 1. One who, or that which, carries or conveys; a messenger. [1913 Webster] The air which is but . . . a carrier of the sounds. Bacon. [1913 Webster] 2. One who is employed, or makes it his business, to carry… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • carrier pigeon — carrier .pigeon n a ↑pigeon (=type of bird) that has been trained to carry messages …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • carrier pigeon — carrier ,pigeon noun count a PIGEON that has been trained to carry messages …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • carrier pigeon — ► NOUN ▪ a homing pigeon trained to carry messages …   English terms dictionary

  • carrier pigeon — n. 1. former name for HOMING PIGEON 2. any of a breed of large show pigeons with big wattles …   English World dictionary

  • Carrier pigeon — A Carrier pigeon is a Homing Pigeon (specifically a domesticated Rock Pigeon, Columba livia ) that has been used to carry messages. Using pigeons to carry messages is generally called pigeon post. Most homing/racing type varieties can be used to… …   Wikipedia

  • carrier pigeon — noun a homing pigeon used to carry messages • Hypernyms: ↑homing pigeon, ↑homer * * * noun, pl ⋯ geons [count] : a type of pigeon that is trained to carry messages * * * ˈcarrier pigeon [carrier pigeon carrier pigeons] …   Useful english dictionary

  • carrier pigeon — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms carrier pigeon : singular carrier pigeon plural carrier pigeons a pigeon that has been trained to carry messages …   English dictionary

  • carrier pigeon — pigeon which is used to carry and deliver messages …   English contemporary dictionary

  • carrier pigeon — Synonyms and related words: Aquarius, Ganymede, Hebe, bearer, bheesty, busboy, caddie, cargo handler, carrier, carter, common carrier, conveyer, coolie, cupbearer, drayman, express, expressman, freighter, gun bearer, hauler, homer, homing pigeon …   Moby Thesaurus

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