hawk

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English[edit]

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A juvenile goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Middle English hauk, from Old English hafoc, from Proto-Germanic *habukaz (compare West Frisian hauk, Dutch havik, German Habicht), from Proto-Indo-European *kobuĝo (compare Latin capys, capus 'bird of prey', Albanian gabonjë, shkabë 'eagle', Russian кобец (kóbec) 'falcon', Polish kobuz 'Eurasian Hobby').

Noun[edit]

hawk (plural hawks)

  1. A diurnal predatory bird of the family Accipitridae.
    It is illegal to hunt hawks or other raptors in many parts of the world.
  2. (politics) An advocate of aggressive political positions and actions; a warmonger.
    • 1990, Peter Hopkirk, The Great Game, Folio Society 2010, p. 106:
      A hawk by nature, Ellenborough strongly favoured presenting St Petersburg with an ultimatum warning that any further incursions into Persia would be regarded as a hostile act.
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Verb[edit]

hawk (third-person singular simple present hawks, present participle hawking, simple past and past participle hawked)

  1. (transitive) To hunt with a hawk.
    • 2003, Brenda Joyce, House of Dreams, page 175:
      He rode astride while hawking; she falconed in the ladylike position of sidesaddle.
  2. (intransitive) To make an attack while on the wing; to soar and strike like a hawk.
    to hawk at flies
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)
    • Shakespeare
      A falcon, towering in her pride of place, / Was by a mousing owl hawked at and killed.
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Etymology 2[edit]

Uncertain origin; perhaps from Middle English hache (battle-axe), or from a variant use of the above.

Noun[edit]

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hawk (plural hawks)

  1. A plasterer's tool, made of a flat surface with a handle below, used to hold an amount of plaster prior to application to the wall or ceiling being worked on: a mortarboard.
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Etymology 3[edit]

Back-formation from hawker.

Verb[edit]

hawk (third-person singular simple present hawks, present participle hawking, simple past and past participle hawked)

  1. (transitive) To sell; to offer for sale by outcry in the street; to carry (merchandise) about from place to place for sale; to peddle.
    The vendors were hawking their wares from little tables lining either side of the market square.
    • Jonathan Swift
      His works were hawked in every street.
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Etymology 4[edit]

Onomatopoeia.

Noun[edit]

hawk (plural hawks)

  1. An effort to force up phlegm from the throat, accompanied with noise.
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Verb[edit]

hawk (third-person singular simple present hawks, present participle hawking, simple past and past participle hawked)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To cough up something from one's throat.
  2. (transitive, intransitive) To try to cough up something from one's throat; to clear the throat loudly.
    Grandpa sat on the front porch, hawking and wheezing, as he packed his pipe with cheap tobacco.
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