1. Zool. Any gallinaceous bird belonging to Coturnix and several allied genera of the Old World, especially the common European quail (Coturnix communis), the rain quail (Coturnix Coromandelica) of India, the stubble quail (Coturnix pectoralis), and the Australian swamp quail (Synoicus australis).
2. Zool. Any one of several American partridges belonging to Colinus, Callipepla, and allied genera, especially the bobwhite (called Virginia quail, and Maryland quail), and the California quail (Calipepla Californica).
3. Zool. Any one of numerous species of Turnix and allied genera, native of the Old World, as the Australian painted quail (Turnix varius). See Turnix.
4. A prostitute; -- so called because the quail was thought to be a very amorous bird. [Obs.]
Bustard quail Zool., a small Asiatic quail-like bird of the genus Turnix, as Turnix taigoor, a black-breasted species, and the hill bustard quail (Turnix ocellatus). See Turnix.
Button quail Zool., one of several small Asiatic species of Turnix, as Turnix Sykesii, which is said to be the smallest game bird of India.
Mountain quail. See under Mountain.
Quail call, a call or pipe for alluring quails into a net or within range.
Quail dove Zool., any one of several American ground pigeons belonging to Geotrygon and allied genera.
Quail hawk Zool., the New Zealand sparrow hawk (Hieracidea Novæ-Hollandiæ).
Quail pipe. See Quail call, above.
Quail snipe Zool., the dowitcher, or red-breasted snipe; -- called also robin snipe, and brown snipe.
Sea quail Zool., the turnstone. [Local, U. S.]