• synonyms

sparrow hawk

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  1. a small, short-winged European hawk, Accipiter nisus, that preys on smaller birds.
  2. American kestrel.

Origin of sparrow hawk

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sparrow hawk

Historical Examples

  • And with his bundle of belongings on his shoulder, he hurried off to where the Sparrow-hawk lay.

    Chatterbox, 1905.


  • There is not a trawler in the North Sea catches more fish than the Sparrow-hawk.

  • It is because he has won the prize so often that he is called the Sparrow-hawk.

  • My idea is, to send out the Sparrow-Hawk, being so fast a sailer.

    The Privateersman

    Frederick Marryat

  • Captain Irving recognised the Sparrow-Hawk, and immediately came on board.

    The Privateersman

    Frederick Marryat

British Dictionary definitions for sparrow hawk

sparrow hawk

  1. a very small North American falcon, Falco sparverius, that is closely related to the kestrels
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