pigeon

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pi·geon1 / ˈpijən/ • n. 1. a stout seed- or fruit-eating bird (family Columbidae) with a small head, short legs, and a cooing voice, typically having gray and white plumage. ∎  (also domestic or feral pigeon) a pigeon descended from the wild rock dove, kept for racing, showing, and carrying messages, and common as a feral bird in towns. 2. inf. a gullible person, esp. someone swindled in gambling or the victim of a confidence game. 3. military slang an aircraft from one's own side. pi·geon2 • n. archaic spelling of pidgin.

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pigeon •Aladdin • stand-in •Dunedin, lead-in •Blondin, Girondin •Odin •paladin, Saladin •Borodin • Baffin • elfin •biffin, griffin, tiffin •boffin, coffin •dolphin • endorphin • bowfin •yellowfin •muffin, puffin •ragamuffin • paraffin • perfin •bargain • Begin • Kosygin •hoggin, noggin •imagine • margin • engine •pidgin, pigeon, smidgen, wigeon •stool pigeon • wood pigeon • origin •Pugin • virgin

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pigeon1 in allusion to its harmlessness and to the fact that it is easily caught, pigeon in extended use means a person who is easily swindled, a dupe.
pigeon-hole a small compartment, open at the front and forming part of a set, where letters or messages may be left for someone, resembling a roosting recess in a loft for domestic pigeons; in figurative use, a category to which someone or something is assigned. In verbal use, to pigeon-hole may now imply assignment to a category or class in a manner that is too rigid or exclusive.
pigeon pair a boy and girl as twins, or as the only children in a family.
pigeon's blood a type of precious stone (usually a ruby or opal) of a dark red colour.

See also put the cat among the pigeons.

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pigeon (dove) Any of a large family of wild and domestic birds found throughout temperate and tropical parts of the world, but concentrated in s Asia and the Australian region. Pigeons have small heads, short necks, plump bodies, and scaly legs and feet. Plumage is loose but thick. Length: to 46cm (18in). Family Columbidae; typical genus, Columba.

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pigeon Game bird, Columbia livia; young about 4 weeks old is a squab. A 150‐g portion is an extremely rich source of iron, a rich source of protein, niacin, and vitamins B1 and B2; contains 20 g of fat; supplies 350 kcal (1500 kJ).

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pigeon1 †young dove; bird of the family Columbidae XIV; †young woman, girl; dupe, gull XVI. ME. peion, pyion, pegeon — OF. pijon young bird, esp. young dove (mod. pigeon):- Rom. *pībiō, -ōn-, for late L. pīpiō, -ōn-, f. imit. base *pīp-.

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pigeon2 be someone's pigeon be a person's particular responsibility or business; pigeon here is an archaic spelling of pidgin representing Chinese pronunciation of English business.

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pigeon2 see PIDGIN.