- a common small falcon, Falco tinnunculus, of northern parts of the Eastern Hemisphere, notable for hovering in the air with its head to the wind.
- any of several related small falcons, as the American kestrel, F. sparverius.
Origin of kestrel
Examples from the Web for kestrel
The crew of the Kestrel consisted of less than fifty men, most of them Irishmen.Kilgorman
Talbot Baines Reed
She proved to be the “Kestrel,” of 18 guns, Commander Holmes.Owen Hartley; or, Ups and Downs
William H. G. Kingston
He had no home of his own, for his parents were dead; and this was not his first visit to Kestrel.Saint's Progress
Do you mean that I shall be appointed to the command of the Kestrel?In the King's Name
George Manville Fenn
Then it falls, hangs for a moment in the air like a kestrel, and returns to its perch.Poachers and Poaching
- any of several small falcons, esp the European Falco tinnunculus, that tend to hover against the wind and feed on small mammals on the ground
Word Origin and History for kestrel
kind of falcon, c.1600, earlier castrell (15c.), probably from Middle French cresserelle, which apparently is related to crecerelle "rattle," from Latin crepitacillium "small rattle," diminutive of crepitaculum "noisy bell, rattle," from crepitare "to crackle, rattle;" possibly from the old belief that their noise frightened away other hawks.