Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A small falcon (Falco sparverius) found throughout the Americas, having vertical black stripes under the eyes and characteristically hovering over fields to hunt.
  • noun A small falcon (Falco tinnunculus) of Europe, Asia, and Africa that hovers when hunting and has reddish-brown plumage and a gray head.
  • noun Any of various similar falcons of the genus Falco that hover when hunting.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A common European falcon, Falco tinnunculus, Tinnunculus alaudarius, or Cerchneis tinnunculus, of small size and reddish color.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) A small, slender European hawk (Falco alaudarius), allied to the sparrow hawk. Its color is reddish fawn, streaked and spotted with white and black. Also called windhover and stannel. The name is also applied to other allied species.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any of various small falcons of the genus Falco that hover while hunting.
  • noun The common kestrel, Falco tinnunculus

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

  • noun small Old World falcon that hovers in the air against a wind
  • noun small North American falcon

Etymologies

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

[Probably from obsolete French cresserelle, from Old French cresserele, probably from cresselle, clacker, kestrel.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English castrel ("staniel, bird of prey"), from Middle French cresserelle, crecerelle ("bird of prey"), derivative of crecelle ("rattle, wooden reel"), of obscure origin.

Examples

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