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Peacock

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peacock

1. (Science: zoology) The male of any pheasant of the genus pavo, of which at least two species are known, native of southern asia and the East Indies.

The upper tail coverts, which are long and capable of erection, are each marked with a black spot bordered by concentric bands of brilliant blue, green, and golden colours. The common domesticated species is pavo cristatus. The Javan peacock (P. Muticus) is more brilliantly coloured than the common species.

2. In common usage, the species in general or collectively; a peafowl.

(Science: zoology) Peacock butterfly, any one of several species of handsome Asiatic pheasants of the genus Polyplectron. They resemble the peacock in colour.

Origin: OE. Pecok. Pea- in this word is from AS. Pea, pawa, peacock, fr. L. Pavo, prob. Of Oriental origin; cf. Gr, Per. Taus, tawus, Ar. Tawus. See Cock the bird.