Instead of the pl. Fowls the singular is often used collectively. [OE. Foul, fowel, foghel, fuhel, fugel, as. Fugol; akin to os. Fugal D. & g. Vogel, OHG. Fogal, Icel. & dan. Fugl, Sw. Fogel, fagel, goth. Fugls; of unknown origin, possibly by loss of l, from the root of E. Fly, or akin to E. Fox, as being a tailed animal.
1. Any bird; especially, any large edible bird. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air. (gen. I. 26) Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not. (Matt. Vi. 26) Like a flight of fowl scattered by winds and high tempestuous gusts. (Shak)
2. Any domesticated bird used as food, as a hen, turkey, duck; in a more restricted sense, the common domestic cock or hen (gallus domesticus). Barndoor fowl, or Barnyard fowl, a fowl that frequents the barnyard; the common domestic cock or hen.
to catch or kill wild fowl, for game or food, as by shooting, or by decoys, nets, etc. Such persons as may lawfully hunt, fish, or fowl. (Blackstone) Fowling piece, a light gun with smooth bore, adapted for the use of small shot in killing birds or small quadrupeds.
Origin: Fowled; Fowling.