<zoology>

1. Any one of numerous species of small gallinaceous birds of the genus Perdix and several related genera of the family Perdicidae, of the Old World. The partridge is noted as a game bird. "Full many a fat partrich had he in mew." (Chaucer)

The common European, or gray, partridge (Perdix cinerea) and the red-legged partridge (Caccabis rubra) of Southern Europe and Asia are well-known species.

2. Any one of several species of quail-like birds belonging to Colinus, and allied genera.

Among them are the bobwhite (Colinus Virginianus) of the Eastern States; the plumed, or mountain, partridge (Oreortyx pictus) of California; the Massena partridge (Cyrtonyx Montezumae); and the California partridge (Callipepla Californica).

3. The ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus). Bamboo partridge, a francolin of South Africa (Francolinus pictus). Partridge berry.

<botany> Any small Asiatic partridge of the genus Arboricola.

Origin: OE. Partriche, pertriche, OF. Pertris, perdriz, F. Perdrix, L. Perdix, -icis, fr. Gr.

(01 Mar 1998)