Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A large powerful hawk (Accipiter gentilis) having broad rounded wings, a long tail, and gray or brownish plumage.
  • n. Any of several similar or related hawks.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several birds of prey, principally in the genus, Accipiter.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any large hawk of the genus Astur, of which many species and varieties are known. The European (Astur palumbarius) and the American (A. atricapillus) are the best known species. They are noted for their powerful flight, activity, and courage. The Australian goshawk (A. Novæ-Hollandiæ) is pure white.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A large noble hawk, Astur palumbarius, of the subfamily Accipitrinæ and family Falconidæ; the goose-hawk.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. large hawk of Eurasia and North America used in falconry

Etymologies

Middle English goshauk, from Old English gōshafoc : gōs, goose; see goose + hafoc, hawk; see hawk1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English gōshafoc ("goose hawk"), from gōs ("goose") and hafoc ("hawk"). Compare also Old Norse gáshaukr and Late Middle English gosling. The bird gets its name from the fact that the species are hawks that were alleged to prey on geese. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I've heard falconers say that a goshawk is like a loaded gun: you know it will go off but you don't know when.

    Country diary: Wenlock Edge

  • Well back from today's walk and no goshawk, which is good.

    Can a Goshawk Eat My Jack Russell?

  • And a goshawk is the fiercest of all the hawks there are.

    Sleepy-Time Tales: the Tale of Fatty Coon

  • The goshawk is a royal fowl, and is armed more with boldness than with claws, and as much as kind taketh from her in quantity of body, it rewardeth her with boldness of heart.

    Mediaeval Lore from Bartholomew Anglicus

  • Wire cutters were used to take the five-year-old male goshawk, which is grey on top and a cream speckled colour underneath, from a weathering, where it is kept for breeding purposes, between 9pm on Wednesday, March 4, and 7am on Thursday, March 5.

    HX News and Sport

  • "You are right," replied Sumichrast; "it is the Cayenne goshawk, which is characterized by having a head covered with ash-colored feathers, by

    Aventures d'un jeune naturaliste. English

  • Just saw either Denny or Furzey on the goshawk nest who came into site noisily from off-camera and picked at the nest a bit.

    l'accent tonique - French Word-A-Day

  • For no particular reason I glanced upward and there, gliding low over the trees, was a goshawk.

    Country diary: Wenlock Edge

  • Just as the goshawk disappeared over the trees, it seemed to be followed by a red kite.

    Country diary: Wenlock Edge

  • I would miss the birds: a pair of furious peregrine falcons, a northern goshawk with a nest at the top of a deformed spruce leaning over the water, the three crow pals that worked the rockweed at low tide eviscerating sea urchins, then picked ripe berries on the hillside for dessert.

    Bird Cloud

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