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4 definitions found
 for Carrier pigeon
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Homing \Hom"ing\ (h[=o]m"[i^]ng), p. a.
     Home-returning; -- used specifically of carrier pigeons.
     [1913 Webster]
     Homing pigeon, any pigeon trained to return home from a
        distance. Also called carrier pigeon. Most are bred from
        the domestic pigeon Columba livia. Homing pigeons are
        used for sending back messages or for flying races. By
        carrying the birds away and releasing them at gradually
        increasing distances from home, they may be trained to
        return with more or less certainty and promptness from
        distances up to four or five hundred miles. The birds
        typically do not stop on their way home, and may average
        as much as 60 miles per hour on their return trip. If the
        distance is increased much beyond 400 miles, the birds are
        unable to cover it without stopping for a prolonged rest,
        and their return becomes doubtful. The record for returnig
        from a distance is close to 1,200 miles. Homing pigeons
        are not bred for fancy points or special colors, but for
        strength, speed, endurance, and intelligence or homing
        instinct. Although used since ancient times, homing
        pigeons have been largely displaced for practical purposes
        by radio and electronic communications, but they are still
        used in some special situations at the end of the 20th
        century. They were used in military operations as recently
        as in World War II.
        [Webster 1913 Suppl. +PJC] hominian

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Carrier \Car"ri*er\, n. [From Carry.]
     1. One who, or that which, carries or conveys; a messenger.
        [1913 Webster]
              The air which is but . . . a carrier of the sounds.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. One who is employed, or makes it his business, to carry
        goods for others for hire; a porter; a teamster.
        [1913 Webster]
              The roads are crowded with carriers, laden with rich
              manufactures.                         --Swift.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. (Mach.) That which drives or carries; as:
        (a) A piece which communicates to an object in a lathe the
            motion of the face plate; a lathe dog.
        (b) A spool holder or bobbin holder in a braiding machine.
            (c) A movable piece in magazine guns which transfers
            the cartridge to a position from which it can be
            thrust into the barrel.
            [1913 Webster]
     Carrier pigeon (Zool.), a variety of the domestic pigeon
        used to convey letters from a distant point to to its
     Carrier shell (Zool.), a univalve shell of the genus
        Phorus; -- so called because it fastens bits of stones
        and broken shells to its own shell, to such an extent as
        almost to conceal it.
     Common carrier (Law.) See under Common, a.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  carrier pigeon
      n 1: a homing pigeon used to carry messages

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  53 Moby Thesaurus words for "carrier pigeon":
     Aquarius, Ganymede, Hebe, bearer, bheesty, busboy, caddie,
     cargo handler, carrier, carter, common carrier, conveyer, coolie,
     cupbearer, drayman, express, expressman, freighter, gun bearer,
     hauler, homer, homing pigeon, letter carrier, litter-bearer,
     mail car, mail coach, mail packet, mail train, mail truck, mailer,
     mailplane, packet boat, pigeon post, porter, post boat, post car,
     post coach, post-horse, post-office car, poster, railway mail car,
     redcap, shield-bearer, skycap, stevedore, stretcher-bearer,
     the Water Bearer, transporter, truck driver, trucker, wagoner,
     water boy, water carrier

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