There are 2 main definitions of turkey in English:

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turkey1

Line breaks: tur¦key
Pronunciation: /ˈtəːki
 
/

noun (plural turkeys)

1A large mainly domesticated game bird native to North America, having a bald head and (in the male) red wattles. It is a popular food on festive occasions such as Christmas and (in the US) Thanksgiving.
  • Meleagris gallopavo, family Meleagridae (or Phasianidae)
Example sentences
  • Restrictions and slaughter provisions apply to domestic fowls, turkeys, geese, ducks, guinea fowls, quail, ratites, pigeons, pheasants and partridges reared or kept in captivity.
  • It feeds primarily on deer, but its diet may also include small mammals, wild turkeys, and occasionally domestic livestock, when available.
  • Western ragweed provides forage for deer and the fruits are an important food source for upland game birds, wild turkeys and songbirds.
1.1 [mass noun] The flesh of the turkey as food.
Example sentences
  • The experts tell vegetarians they can eat soy to take the place of real foods like turkey or steak.
  • One of my mainstays was mince - beef, pork, turkey or lamb; I didn't often mince the meat myself, as I could not afford the joint in the first place.
  • Heavy wood smoke is perfect for ribs, turkey, brisket and pork shoulder but never for a delicate chicken.
2 informal , chiefly North American Something that is extremely or completely unsuccessful, especially a play or film: the movie flopped—the second in a trio of turkeys
More example sentences
  • The closest we have gotten to this genre in recent years are the various pirate turkeys and submarine films.
  • His most recent films, execrable turkeys have achieved the seemingly impossible by being even crasser and less watchable than their dismal predecessors.
  • He is collecting votes for the worst turkey film of all time.
2.1A stupid or inept person: I felt like such a turkey spying on his house

Origin

mid 16th century: short for turkey cock or turkeyhen, originally applied to the guinea fowl (which was imported through Turkey), and then erroneously to the American bird.

Phrases

like turkeys voting for Christmas

1
informal Used to suggest that a particular action or decision is hopelessly self-defeating: such a move by Liberal Democrats would be like turkeys voting for Christmas
More example sentences
  • The members who have been kept at arm's length will dutifully behave like turkeys voting for Christmas.
  • I don't think councillors will vote for this with an election looming, it would be like turkeys voting for Christmas.
  • Most of the clubs are in exactly the same position and like turkeys voting for Christmas, they created the situation themselves.

talk turkey

2
North American informal Discuss something frankly and straightforwardly: she promised to go talk turkey with the representatives
More example sentences
  • What a cherished American tradition - to eat turkey and talk turkey at the same time.
  • Both men checked their egos and preconceived notions and talked turkey.
  • At the hearing, it was the academics who talked turkey, and took on the real world.

Definition of turkey in:

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There are 2 main definitions of turkey in English:

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Turkey2

Line breaks: Tur¦key
Pronunciation: /ˈtəːki
 
/
A country comprising the whole of the Anatolian peninsula in western Asia, with a small enclave in SE Europe to the west of Istanbul; population 76,805,500 (est. 2009); official language, Turkish; capital, Ankara.

Turkey was the centre of the Ottoman Empire, established in the late Middle Ages and largely maintained until its collapse at the end of the First World War, in which Turkey supported the Central Powers. The nationalist leader Kemal Atatürk established the modern republic of Turkey in the 1920s. Turkey was neutral in the Second World War but is a member of NATO

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