[ tur-suhl ]

  1. the male of a hawk, especially of a gyrfalcon or peregrine.

Origin of tercel

1350–1400; Middle English <Middle French terçuel<Vulgar Latin *tertiolus, equivalent to Latin terti(us) third + -olus-ole1; probably so called because the male is about one third smaller than the female
  • Also terce·let [turs-lit], /ˈtɜrs lɪt/, tiercel.

Words Nearby tercel

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use tercel in a sentence

  • The only difference being, that the victim then was a tercel gentle, and now it would be a white dove.

    Robin Tremayne | Emily Sarah Holt
  • By the falcon is always understood the female, as distinguished from the tercel, or male, of the peregrine or goshawk.

    The Ornithology of Shakespeare | James Edmund Harting
  • The latter was probably called the tercel, or tiercel, from being about a third smaller than the falcon.

    The Ornithology of Shakespeare | James Edmund Harting
  • 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
  • These he fastened firmly together, and set them securely within that window, by which the tercel would come to his lady.

British Dictionary definitions for tercel



/ (ˈtɜːsəl) /

  1. a male falcon or hawk, esp as used in falconry

Origin of tercel

C14: from Old French, from Vulgar Latin tertiolus (unattested), from Latin tertius third, referring to the tradition that only one egg in three hatched a male chick

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