Definitions

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

  • n. Any of various birds of prey of the order Falconiformes and especially of the genera Accipiter and Buteo, characteristically having a short hooked bill and strong claws adapted for seizing.
  • n. Any of various similar birds of prey.
  • n. A person who preys on others; a shark.
  • n. One who demonstrates an actively aggressive or combative attitude, as in an argument.
  • n. A person who favors military force or action in order to carry out foreign policy.
  • intransitive v. To hunt with trained hawks.
  • intransitive v. To swoop and strike in the manner of a hawk: "It was fun to watch the scattered snail kites . . . lifting and falling in the wind as they hawked across the shining grass and water” ( Peter Matthiessen).
  • intransitive v. To peddle goods aggressively, especially by calling out.
  • transitive v. To peddle (goods) aggressively, especially by calling out.
  • intransitive v. To clear or attempt to clear the throat by or as if by coughing up phlegm.
  • transitive v. To clear the throat of (phlegm).
  • n. An audible effort to clear the throat by expelling phlegm.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A plasterer's tool, made of a flat surface with a handle below, used to hold an amount of plaster prior to application to the wall or ceiling being worked on: a mortarboard.
  • n. An effort to force up phlegm from the throat, accompanied with noise.
  • v. To forcibly attempt to cough up (phlegm).
  • v. To clear the throat loudly.
  • n. A diurnal predatory bird of the family Accipitridae.
  • n. An advocate of aggressive political positions.
  • v. To hunt with a hawk.
  • v. To sell.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of numerous species and genera of rapacious birds of the family Falconidæ. They differ from the true falcons in lacking the prominent tooth and notch of the bill, and in having shorter and less pointed wings. Many are of large size and grade into the eagles. Some, as the goshawk, were formerly trained like falcons. In a more general sense the word is not infrequently applied, also, to true falcons, as the sparrow hawk, pigeon hawk, duck hawk, and prairie hawk.
  • intransitive v. To catch, or attempt to catch, birds by means of hawks trained for the purpose, and let loose on the prey; to practice falconry.
  • intransitive v. To make an attack while on the wing; to soar and strike like a hawk; -- generally with at.
  • intransitive v. To clear the throat with an audible sound by forcing an expiratory current of air through the narrow passage between the depressed soft palate and the root of the tongue, thus aiding in the removal of foreign substances.
  • transitive v. To raise by hawking, as phlegm.
  • n. An effort to force up phlegm from the throat, accompanied with noise.
  • transitive v. To offer for sale by outcry in the street; to carry (merchandise) about from place to place for sale; to peddle.
  • n. A small board, with a handle on the under side, to hold mortar.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A diurnal bird of prey which does not habitually feed upon carrion: contrasted with owl and with vulture.
  • n. With a specifying term, some bird that hawks for its prey on the wing.
  • n. Synonyms Hawk, Falcon. Hawk is the most general and indefinite name of a bird of prey. It seems to have at first distinguished the birds so designated from carrion-feeding kinds and from those that prey by night (vultures and owls), and then to have been applied to those which could be trained—that is, used in the sport of hawking or falconry. Its nearest synonym is falcon; and since all hawks were formerly placed in one genus, Falco, hawk and falcon became interchangeable book-names for most members of the family Falconidæ. But, again, the hawks used in falconry were of two series, respectively designated noble and ignoble, corresponding to two technical subfamilies of Falconidæ. The name falcon became, therefore, technically restricted to the former of these series, the subfamily Falconinæ, while hawk was coincidently applied to the other, Accipitrinæ, alone.
  • To hunt birds or small animals by means of hawks or falcons trained for the purpose; practise hawking; engage in falconry.
  • To fly in the manner of the hawk; soar; take prey in the air.
  • To offer for sale by outcry in a street or other public place, or from door to door; convey through town or country for sale: as, to hawk brooms or ballads.
  • To make an effort to raise phlegm from the throat.
  • To raise by hawking: as, to hawk up phlegm.
  • n. An effort to raise phlegm from the throat.
  • n. In building, a small quadrangular board with a handle underneath, used by plasterers to hold the mortar.
  • n. A double-hooked instrument for drawing or moving about the cloth in the dyeing-liquor of a hawking-machine.
  • To draw or to pull with a hawk, as cloth through the dye-vat of a hawking-machine.

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

  • v. sell or offer for sale from place to place
  • n. diurnal bird of prey typically having short rounded wings and a long tail
  • n. an advocate of an aggressive policy on foreign relations
  • v. hunt with hawks
  • v. clear mucus or food from one's throat
  • n. a square board with a handle underneath; used by masons to hold or carry mortar

Etymologies

Middle English hauk, from Old English hafoc.
Middle English hauken, back-formation from hauker; see hawker.
Imitative.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Onomatopoeia. (Wiktionary)
Middle English hauk, from Old English hafoc, from Proto-Germanic *habukaz (compare West Frisian hauk, Dutch havik, German Habicht), from Proto-Indo-European *kobuĝo (compare Latin capys, capus 'bird of prey', Albanian gabonjë, shkabë 'eagle', Russian кобец (kóbec) 'falcon'). (Wiktionary)
Back-formation from hawker. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • See comments on hock.

    May 16, 2012

  • "Hawk is the most general and indefinite name of a bird of prey. It seems to have at first distinguished the birds so designated from carrion-feeding kinds and from those that prey by night (vultures and owls), and then to have been applied to those which could be trained—that is, used in the sport of hawking or falconry. Its nearest synonym is falcon; and since all hawks were formerly placed in one genus, Falco, hawk and falcon became interchangeable book-names for most members of the family Falconidæ. But, again, the hawks used in falconry were of two series, respectively designated noble and ignoble, corresponding to two technical subfamilies of Falconidæ. The name falcon became, therefore, technically restricted to the former of these series, the subfamily Falconinæ, while hawk was coincidently applied to the other, Accipitrinæ, alone."

    --Century Dictionary

    March 3, 2011

  • The name of the Curtiss P-1, an open-cockpit biplane of the early '20s. More on Wikipedia.

    December 30, 2008