[ wind-huhv-er, -hov- ]
/ ˈwɪndˌhʌv ər, -ˌhɒv- /


the kestrel, Falco tinnunculus.

Nearby words

  1. windflaw,
  2. windflower,
  3. windgall,
  4. windham,
  5. windhoek,
  6. windies,
  7. windigo,
  8. winding,
  9. winding drum,
  10. winding frame

Origin of windhover

1665–75; wind1 + hover; from its hovering flight, head to the wind Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for windhover

  • The kestrel or windhover acts in quite a different fashion to the sparrow-hawk.

  • As illustrating a remarkable quality of flight, the case of the kestrel or windhover may be taken.

  • But the greatest of all exponents in the art of hovering is the kestrel, known also, for this very reason, as the “windhover.”

    Birds in Flight|W. P. Pycraft

British Dictionary definitions for windhover


/ (ˈwɪndˌhɒvə) /


British a dialect name for a kestrel
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

Word Origin and History for windhover



"kestrel," 1670s, from wind (n.1) + hover; so called from the bird's habit of hovering in the wind. An earlier name for it was windfucker (1590s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper