Dove (?), n. [OE. dove, duve, douve, AS. dfe; akin to OS. dba, D. duif, OHG. tba, G. taube, Icel. dfa, Sw. dufva, Dan. due, Goth. db; perh. from the root of E. dive.]
A pigeon of the genus Columba and various related genera. The species are numerous.
⇒ 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 C. turtur or Turtur vulgaris; the ringdove, the largest of European species, is C. 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 innocence, gentleness, and affection; also, in art and in the Scriptures, the typical symbol of the Holy Ghost.<-- also a symbol of peace -->
A word of endearment for one regarded as pure and gentle.
O my dove, . . . let me hear thy voice.
Cant. ii. 14.
Dove tick Zool., a mite (Argas reflexus) which infests doves and other birds. -- Soiled dove, a prostitute. [Slang]
© Webster 1913.