- the male of a hawk, especially of a gyrfalcon or peregrine.
Origin of tercel
Examples from the Web for tercel
These he fastened firmly together, and set them securely within that window, by which the tercel would come to his lady.
Whilst the lady yet wondered upon him, the tercel became a young and comely knight before her eyes.
Shakespeare tells us to choose "a falcon or tercel for flying at the brook, and a hawk for the bush."A Cotswold Village
J. Arthur Gibbs
By the falcon is always understood the female, as distinguished from the tercel, or male, of the peregrine or goshawk.
The latter was probably called the tercel, or tiercel, from being about a third smaller than the falcon.
- a male falcon or hawk, esp as used in falconry
Word Origin and History for tercel
"male falcon," late 14c., from Old French tercel (c.1200), from Medieval Latin tertiolus, from Latin tertius "third, a third," from root of tres "three" (see three). Various theories as to why it is called this; one says it's because the males are a third smaller than the females, another because a third egg in the nest (smaller than the other two) is believed always to produce a male bird.