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Dove (dŭv), n. [OE. dove, duve, douve, AS. d&ū;fe; akin to OS. d&ū;ba, D. duif, OHG. t&ū;ba, G. taube, Icel. d&ū;fa, Sw. dufva, Dan. due, Goth. d&ū;b&ō;; perh. from the root of E. dive.] 1. (Zo&ö;l.) A pigeon of the genus Columba and various related genera. The species are numerous.
&hand_; The domestic dove, including the varieties called fantails, tumblers, carrier pigeons, etc., was derived from the rock pigeon (Columba livia) of Europe and Asia; the turtledove of Europe, celebrated for its sweet, plaintive note, is Columba turtur or Turtur vulgaris; the ringdove, the largest of European species, is Columba palumbus; the Carolina dove, or Mourning dove, is Zenaidura macroura; the sea dove is the little auk (Mergulus alle or Alle alle). See Turtledove, Ground dove, and Rock pigeon. The dove is a symbol of peace, innocence, gentleness, and affection; also, in art and in the Scriptures, the typical symbol of the Holy Ghost.
2. A word of endearment for one regarded as pure and gentle.
O my dove, . . . let me hear thy voice. Cant. ii. 14.
3. a person advocating peace, compromise or conciliation rather than war or conflict. Opposite of hawk.
Dove tick (Zo&ö;l.), a mite (Argas reflexus) which infests doves and other birds. -- Soiled dove, a prostitute. [Slang]