American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Variant of gyrfalcon.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A large falcon of arctic Europe, Falco gyrfalco, or one of other kinds of boreal falcons forming the subgenus Hierofalco, of large size, very robust organization, and highly raptorial nature. The continental forms are mostly dark-colored, some of them quite blackish, but others are white, more or less spotted with a dusky color, as those of Iceland and Greenland. Naturalists are not agreed whether there is but a single variable species or several; the latter opinion prevails. See falcon, Hierofalco.
- n. Alternative form of gyrfalcon.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) See gyrfalcon.
- n. large and rare Arctic falcon having white and dark color phases
“[Footnote 4: A gerfalcon is a large falcon of Northern Europe.] "Oft to his frozen lair”
“And who that putteth that knight to the worse shall have a fair maid and a gerfalcon.”
“Uwaine smote down thirty knights, therefore was given him the prize, and that was a gerfalcon, and a white steed trapped with cloth of gold.”
“And if so be that he be a wedded man, that his wife shall have the degree, and a coronal of gold beset with stones of virtue to the value of a thousand pound, and a white gerfalcon.”
“I am told he governs like a gerfalcon, of which I am very glad, and my lord the duke, of course, also; and I am very thankful to heaven that I have not made a mistake in choosing him for that same government; for I would have Senora Teresa know that a good governor is hard to find in this world and may God make me as good as Sancho's way of governing.”
“He had taken with him for his amusement a favorite gerfalcon of the queen.”
“And these same youthful lords had but that hour returned from the chase so that they stood yet in the courtyard, each bearing upon his wrist his gerfalcon, hooded and jessed.”
“So would it be if the falcon were to flee from the duck, and the gerfalcon from the heron, and the great pike from the minnow, and if the stag were to chase the lion; so do things go topsy-turvy.”
“He always had a hand as true as steel, and an eye like a gerfalcon.”
“Where the wild gerfalcon flies, where the last sails lift.”
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