Pea"cock` (?), n. [OE. pecok. Pea- in this word is from AS. pexa0;, pawa, peacock, fr. L. pavo, prob. of Oriental origin; cf. Gr. , , Per. taus, tawus, Ar. tawus. See Cock the bird.]
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 colors. The common domesticated species is Pavo cristatus. The Javan peacock (P. muticus) is more brilliantly colored than the common species.
In common usage, the species in general or collectively; a peafowl.
Peacock butterfly Zool., a handsome European butterfly (Hamadryas Io) having ocelli like those of peacock. -- Peacock fish Zool., the European blue-striped wrasse (Labrus variegatus); -- so called on account of its brilliant colors. Called also cook wrasse and cook. -- Peacock pheasant Zool., any one of several species of handsome Asiatic pheasants of the genus Polyplectron. They resemble the peacock in color.
© Webster 1913.