Definition of turtle dove in English:

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turtle dove

Pronunciation: /ˈtəːrtl dʌv/


A small Old World dove with a soft purring call, noted for the apparent affection shown for its mate.
Example sentences
  • The Red List also features a disturbingly high number of formerly common farmland birds which are rapidly declining: tree sparrow, grey partridge, spotted flycatcher, song thrush, skylark, linnet and turtle dove.
  • Meanwhile, interrupting the shadow play performance was the bellowing sound of a camel, the soft cooing of a turtle dove and the neighing of a horse.
  • When viewed from the underside, the collared dove appears grayer than a turtle dove, with black visible on the tail.


Middle English: turtle from Old English turtla, turtle 'turtle dove' (from Latin turtur, of imitative origin).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: tur¦tle dove

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