[jur-fawl-kuh n, -fal-, -faw-kuh n]
- a large falcon, Falco rusticolus, of arctic and subarctic regions, having white, gray, or blackish color phases: now greatly reduced in number.
Origin of gyrfalcon
1300–50; Middle English gerfaucon, jerfacoun < Middle French, Old French, equivalent to ger- (perhaps < Old High German giri greedy) + faucon falcon; compare Old Norse geirfalki
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for gyrfalcon
The gyrfalcon can certainly not catch a phalarope in flight.Life Histories of North American Shore Birds, Part 1 (of 2)
Arthur Cleveland Bent
The Gyrfalcon is the best-proportioned and most active member of the Falcon tribe.Reptiles and Birds
The gyrfalcon is the speed-king among birds, but the hoary bat is faster still.
When only a streak of silver sky, with a shoal of little violet clouds, was left of the daylight the gyrfalcon gave up the chase.
A dead Arctic tern was on the beach only 90 feet away and visible to the gyrfalcon.
- a very large rare falcon, Falco rusticolus, of northern and arctic regions: often used for hunting
C14: from Old French gerfaucon, perhaps from Old Norse geirfalki, from geirr spear + falki falcon
Word Origin and History for gyrfalcon
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper