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[wind-huhv-er, -hov-] /ˈwɪndˌhʌv ər, -ˌhɒv-/
the kestrel, Falco tinnunculus.
Origin of windhover
1665-75; wind1 + hover; from its hovering flight, head to the wind Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for windhover
Historical Examples
  • But the greatest of all exponents in the art of hovering is the kestrel, known also, for this very reason, as the “windhover.”

    Birds in Flight W. P. Pycraft
  • The kestrel or windhover acts in quite a different fashion to the sparrow-hawk.

    Poachers and Poaching John Watson
  • As illustrating a remarkable quality of flight, the case of the kestrel or windhover may be taken.

    Poachers and Poaching John Watson
British Dictionary definitions for windhover


(Brit) a dialect name for a kestrel
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
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Word Origin and History for windhover

"kestrel," 1670s, from wind (n.1) + hover; so called from the bird's habit of hovering in the wind. An earlier name for it was windfucker (1590s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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