• synonyms

chicken hawk

  1. Also called hen hawk. (not used scientifically) any of various hawks said to prey on poultry.
  2. Slang. an older man who seeks out young boys as sexual partners.
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Origin of chicken hawk

An Americanism dating back to 1820–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for chicken hawk

Historical Examples

  • She actilly did seem as if she was made out of steel springs and chicken-hawk.

    The Attache

    Thomas Chandler Haliburton

  • That man's afraid o' me—jess as 'fraid as a chicken-hawk is of a gun, seh!

    John March, Southerner

    George W. Cable

  • So they did go an' see Chicken-hawk about it an' pay Chicken-hawk so much.

  • Thenceforth the Chicken-hawk and its every marking were familiar to him.

    Two Little Savages

    Ernest Thompson Seton

  • Oh, yes; about the same way an old hen loves a Chicken-hawk.

    Two Little Savages

    Ernest Thompson Seton

Word Origin and History for chicken hawk


type of hawk that is believed to prey on domestic fowl, 1802, American English. Figuratively, from the secondary senses of both words, "public person who advocates war but who declined significant opportunity to serve in uniform during wartime," at least 1988, American English. From chicken (n.) + hawk (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper