- any of several longwinged, American goatsuckers of the genus Chordeiles, related to the whippoorwill, especially C. minor, having variegated black, white, and buff plumage.
- the European goatsucker or nightjar, Caprimulgus europaeus.
- Informal. a person who is habitually up or moving about late at night; night owl.
Origin of nighthawk
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for night-hawk
Then they stagger off to seek a lonely car or a night-hawk taxi.Pipefuls</p>
As she spoke a night-hawk passed with a shriek, and the evening star was hid with a cloud.Saronia
It guides their enemies—the night-hawk and the “whip-poor-will”, the bat, and the owl.The Rifle Rangers
Captain Mayne Reid
And the owl, and the night-hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after his kind.Bible Animals;
J. G. Wood
A night-hawk swooped past the window with a startling whirr of wings.Copper Coleson's Ghost
Edward P. Hendrick
- Also called: bullbat, mosquito hawk any American nightjar of the genus Chordeiles and related genera, having a dark plumage and, in the male, white patches on the wings and tail
- informal another name for night owl
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for night-hawk
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper