- a small, short-winged European hawk, Accipiter nisus, that preys on smaller birds.
- American kestrel.
Origin of sparrow hawk
late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for sparrowhawk
Mr. Knox has an interesting anecdote of a sparrowhawk at Burton.Highways & Byways in Sussex
Now the first who went to take the hand of the woman was Sparrowhawk.Seven Mohave Myths
A. L. Kroeber
Sparrowhawk made a gesture of delight at this unexpected success.
There was a lengthened silence; Sparrowhawk was the first to break it.
Let the Bounding Panther and the Sparrowhawk be introduced to our presence.
- any of several small hawks, esp Accipiter nisus, of Eurasia and N Africa that prey on smaller birds
- a very small North American falcon, Falco sparverius, that is closely related to the kestrels