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falcon

[ fawl-kuhn, fal-, faw-kuhn ]
/ ˈfɔl kən, ˈfæl-, ˈfɔ kən /
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noun

any of several birds of prey of the family Falconidae, especially of the genus Falco, usually distinguished by long, pointed wings, a hooked beak with a toothlike notch on each side of the upper bill, and swift, agile flight, typically diving to seize prey: some falcon species are close to extinction.
Falconry.
  1. the female gyrfalcon.
  2. falcon-gentle.
  3. any bird of prey trained for use in falconry. Compare tercel.
a small, light cannon in use from the 15th to the 17th century.
(initial capital letter)Military. a family of air-to-air guided missiles, some of them capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

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Origin of falcon

1200–50; Middle English fauco(u)n, falcon<Anglo-French, Old French faucon<Late Latin falcōn- (stem of falcō) hawk (said to be derivative of falx, stem falc- sickle, referring to the sicklelike talons)
fal·co·nine [fawl-kuh-nahyn, -nin, fal-, faw-kuh-], /ˈfɔl kəˌnaɪn, -nɪn, ˈfæl-, ˈfɔ kə-/, adjectivefal·co·noid, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for falcon

falcon
/ (ˈfɔːlkən, ˈfɔːkən) /

noun

any diurnal bird of prey of the family Falconidae, esp any of the genus Falco (gyrfalcon, peregrine falcon, etc), typically having pointed wings and a long tail
  1. any of these or related birds, trained to hunt small game
  2. the female of such a birdCompare tercel Related adjective: falconine
a light-medium cannon used from the 15th to 17th centuries
C13: from Old French faucon, from Late Latin falcō hawk, probably of Germanic origin; perhaps related to Latin falx sickle
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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