Main definitions of hawk in English

: hawk1hawk2hawk3hawk4

hawk1

noun

  • 1A diurnal bird of prey with broad rounded wings and a long tail, typically taking prey by surprise with a short chase.

    Compare with falcon
    • ‘Quarry is eaten on the ground or on a stump, the hawk standing with both feet on its victim, drooping wings to form a tent and spreading its tail as if to give support.’
    • ‘Along waterways and ponds you're likely to see parrots and macaws, hawks and jabiru storks.’
    • ‘The fencing is 5 feet high and has occasional cross fencing to keep hawks from swooping in and snatching up one of the chickens.’
    • ‘Gulls, hawks and vultures soar, swallows and terns skim the surface of water.’
    • ‘Bird watchers will be treated to the sight of caracara hawks, Florida sandhill cranes, and numerous other species.’
    • ‘If you're lucky, you can sight one of the smaller numbers of red-shoulder hawks, red-tail hawks and the elusive, endangered Peregrine Falcon.’
    • ‘When I tipped my head back, I saw the hawk buckle its wings and plummet behind the trees.’
    • ‘The blinding sun flashed over the graceful wings of the hawk soaring through the clouds.’
    • ‘In addition to rare plants and wildflowers, you'll find hawks and ospreys lining the river and a host of waders along the shoreline.’
    • ‘His crest hung on the wooden wall, the black hawk with wings perched in a frightful pose staring at her with its piercing golden eyes.’
    • ‘The falconers show us their range of beautiful but fairly sinister birds - hawks, eagles, vultures etc - and then treat us to an outdoor display with a falcon.’
    • ‘Around the lake we could see samples of most of Florida's native birds, such as osprey, anhinga, eagles, hawks, and herons.’
    • ‘There remain some obstinate holdouts from the old marsh life, including a pair of nesting hawks who perch on the light standards over the roadway, scanning the cars going in and out of the university.’
    • ‘Many wild hatchlings of these earlier returnees have fallen prey to Galapagos hawks, a natural predator that has coexisted with tortoises for eons.’
    • ‘Students will probably never forget the hawk spreading his magnificent wings as Mrs. Beck held him above her head.’
    • ‘The family Accipitridae encompasses many of the diurnal birds of prey, including the familiar hawks and eagles.’
    • ‘To her surprise, an enormous hawk was perched on the branch of the cherry blossom tree.’
    • ‘Look for seals and river otters that sometimes come in at high tide and hawks that cruise the surrounding fields for small game.’
    • ‘He's also a nature lover and when he saw a hawk chasing pigeons around the Kennaway Hotel on Friday morning he watched in awe.’
    • ‘Red-tailed hawks and turkey vultures circled above us in a blue sky.’
    1. 1.1North American A bird of prey related to the buzzards.
      • ‘He explained to the judge he couldn't help himself out there under the blue sky, under the billowing clouds, way way up, the gliding buzzard hawks circling, circling, free as the breeze.’
    2. 1.2Falconry Any diurnal bird of prey used in falconry.
      • ‘Employees from Ashford Castle's school of falconry bring hawks and falcons to Rathroeen where they keep vermin and other birds at bay.’
      • ‘The regular flying demonstrations give visitors the opportunity to see some of the 75 eagles, falcons, hawks, vultures and owls at close range.’
      • ‘It is Britain's leading hatchery for the export of hunting hawks and falcons and the chicks it sends to clients in Africa, India and the United States are valued at thousands of pounds.’
      • ‘He resembles a small hawk or falcon who has just been unhooded: rapt, sharp-featured, luminously alive to the moment.’
      • ‘He enjoyed the atmosphere and, despite the distance, is interested in bringing his owls, hawks and falcons back down next year.’
      • ‘A favorite hunting hawk of the emperors flew into the camp of Guru Hargobind who was also hunting.’
      • ‘But the next day, they happen upon a group of people hunting with falcons and hawks, one of which is an elegant, noble, beautiful lady.’
      • ‘An Ayrshire school was forced to hire falconers armed with hawks to safeguard its pupils.’
      • ‘The main aim of the business is to breed and sell falcons and hawks, with ‘experience’ days for groups of two to six people involving about four cars a day.’
  • 2A person who advocates an aggressive or warlike policy, especially in foreign affairs.

    ‘severe limits were put on the peace plan by party hawks’
    Compare with dove (sense 2)
    • ‘Leading hawks within the Bush administration are gloating over their humbling of Europe and are opposed to any concessions to America's rivals.’
    • ‘I'm a fiscal conservative, social/cultural liberal and foreign policy hawk.’
    • ‘Japan's leaders are neither doves nor hawks but pragmatists, for whom economic and military security are equally important.’
    • ‘I'm a classical liberal, economically (laissez-faire is my mantra) and a hawk on foreign policy and defense.’
    • ‘‘Regime change’ is now the justification for war, with all that this implies for the future plans of the hawks in the White House.’
    • ‘The hawks and the peaceniks, the left and the right, all believed that we would, indeed fight the Soviets over Western Europe, over missiles in Cuba, etc.’
    • ‘He's following the path of conservative hawks who have derailed progress with North Korea for the past decade.’
    • ‘With respect to China, it is true that September 11 did block movement toward a new hard-line policy from Washington that some administration hawks may have wanted.’
    • ‘The administration hawks don't want disarmament, they want conquest; and whether or not they get to pursue it in this case, their overall objectives will not change.’
    • ‘Most liberal hawks have advocated a muscular enforcement of the human rights agenda.’
    • ‘Pakistan, North Korea and China are also developing weapons of mass destruction but even the most rabid hawks in the US government are not talking about invading those countries.’
    • ‘Americans may indeed be well served externally at this dangerous juncture by the unsentimental foreign policy hawks that tend to predominate in the Republican Party.’
    • ‘During the cold war even the most extreme hawks were chastened in their aggressive impulses by fear of escalation into a full-blown conflict with the USSR.’
    • ‘Unable in a state election to run as a foreign policy hawk, she did the next best thing by choosing a Republican admiral as her running mate.’
    • ‘Gore, too, once was a moderate, a founder of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council and a hawk on foreign policy.’
    • ‘The hawks saw the new policy as providing political cover for war, humoring the international community while remaining hostile to the return of the weapons inspectors.’
    • ‘Though he remains a shrewd guide to the hypocrisies of Arab leaders, his views on foreign policy now scarcely diverge from those of pro-Israel hawks in the Bush Administration.’
    • ‘Mirroring the shallowness of hawks, who condemn peaceniks for their lack of patriotism, many doves castigate anyone who is not opposed to war.’
    • ‘Few believe these same Cold War hawks actually care about foreign peoples, as they were fairly open about their indifference to human rights not so long ago.’
    • ‘Right now, the Democratic foreign policy hawks are calling for more troops - an impossibility.’
  • 3Used in names of hawkmoths, e.g. eyed hawk.

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1(of a person) hunt game with a trained hawk.

    ‘he spent the afternoon hawking’
    • ‘She had a weakness for fine clothes and being a vigorous lady, she enjoyed hawking, shooting the long bow, and making the trip from Theobalds to Westminster, a dozen miles away on horseback.’
    • ‘They were also one of the most popular game birds for hawking and Henry VIII passed legislation imposing heavy fines on those caught stealing heron eggs or killing them by any means other than hawking.’
    • ‘Successful hawking becomes routine, and soon one hunt per day is not enough.’
  • 2(of a bird or dragonfly) hunt on the wing for food.

    ‘swifts hawked low over the water’
    • ‘Swifts screaming overhead, hawking for insects in their no-compromise lifestyle.’
    • ‘Gone were flocks of starlings feeding along the runway; no kestrels hawking on the infields for small mammals; egrets, herons, crows, gulls, and geese all but disappeared.’
    • ‘I did see a few egrets in the fields (maybe cattle egrets) and a group of blue-cheeked bee-eaters hawking for insects and perching on powerlines.’
    • ‘Fishing bats are large, yellow-orange, and rather pungent creatures that can hawk large flying insects or snag small ocean fish from the surf.’
    • ‘For the first time this year there were lots of swifts hawking the riverside fields.’

Phrases

  • have eyes like a hawk

    • Miss nothing of what is going on around one.

      • ‘Mr. Martin has eyes like a hawk, and sees all.’
      • ‘He had eyes like a hawk and was usually very perceptive.’
      • ‘Irene has eyes like a hawk and radar ears, nothing slips by her senses.’
      • ‘I tried to duck away without being seen, but Wright had eyes like a hawk and spotted me.’
  • watch someone like a hawk

    • Keep a vigilant eye on someone, especially to check that they do nothing wrong.

      ‘she watched them like a hawk because some of them were bound to cheat’
      • ‘She watches me like a hawk and I'm sure it's her careful eye that has helped me keep so well.’
      • ‘Fear of losing their child kept them watching Matt like a hawk, staring at his arms for a sign, watching over his medications and sleeping habits.’
      • ‘I watch him like a hawk as he goes back to the car for some tools.’
      • ‘My gaze caught Donovan's, who was watching me like a hawk.’
      • ‘Now the silent majority will be watching him like a hawk, putting everything he says under the microscope of what is and what isn't acceptable.’
      • ‘Just being here, I've been watching them like a hawk and seeing what they're doing behind the scenes.’
      • ‘Either way from the moment he arrived back on US soil the FBI watched him like a hawk.’
      • ‘He settled back in his chair, but I noticed that he was watching me like a hawk.’
      • ‘Bung in the oven and bake for five to ten minutes until golden and crisp (watch them like a hawk as they can burn easily).’
      • ‘So anyway, I let them walk round, keeping their hands in their pockets to make sure they didn't nick anything and watching them like a hawk.’

Origin

Old English hafoc, heafoc, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch havik and German Habicht.

Pronunciation

hawk

/hɔːk/

Main definitions of hawk in English

: hawk1hawk2hawk3hawk4

hawk2

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Carry about and offer (goods) for sale, typically advertising them by shouting.

    ‘street traders were hawking costume jewellery’
    • ‘She liked to shop, casually wandering throughout the market, occasionally listening to the white clad merchants hawk their wares.’
    • ‘We meandered through the men hawking Rolexes and Yankees knit caps, our coats and scarves wrapped tight to combat the brisk wind coming off the water.’
    • ‘They spend hours browsing such jewellery hawked on pavements.’
    • ‘Young boys hawking phone cards and cigarettes circulate among the tables as regularly as the uniformed waiters.’
    • ‘Children hawk small items and souvenirs, sometimes working for the vendors who have stalls in Sangha near the guesthouse.’
    • ‘Hacks offered guided rides, property owners preserved battle damage for display, and relic hunters hawked everything from bones to bullets.’
    • ‘This conference exists so they can hawk their wares to an audience of government officials, in this case mostly mayors.’
    • ‘Men and women everywhere hawked government-controlled newspapers printed on a grayish, low-grade newsprint no doubt full of comparably dull propaganda.’
    • ‘McGauley does all the promotion himself, spending as many Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays as he can hawking his books at craft fairs, readings, and bookstore signings.’
    • ‘A bustling area at the crossroads, stands were set up where women and men were hawking things from jewels and fabrics to vegetables and fruits.’
    • ‘Stall owners hawked their wares under canopies of brightly colored cloth.’
    • ‘I felt a little uncharitable: maybe they were just honest but hard-up Grimsby trawlermen, reduced to hawking their catch on the streets.’
    • ‘The streets were crowded with all sorts of creatures hawking their wares and goods.’
    • ‘At Miami Carnival in October, several soca music traders set up stalls at major venues, openly hawking illegally acquired wares and at giveaway prices.’
    • ‘By coincidence, the restaurant was across the street from where Bradbury was hawking newspapers.’
    • ‘As recently as the late 1960s, vendors hawked turtle eggs in the streets of Chennai.’
    • ‘While lots of children his age go to school, Rizki is on the street in the hot sun or rain seven days a week hawking papers while dodging the traffic.’
    • ‘I also saw Microsoft tablet PC kiosks in Denver, as well as a booth hawking Intel's new Centrino product.’
    • ‘Bands played, people danced, and merchants hawked their wares.’
    • ‘People are renting rooms, running taxis, selling ice-cream out of their front windows and hawking cigars and peanuts in the streets.’

Origin

Late 15th century: probably a back-formation from hawker.

Pronunciation

hawk

/hɔːk/

Main definitions of hawk in English

: hawk1hawk2hawk3hawk4

hawk3

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1Clear the throat noisily.

    ‘he hawked and spat into the flames’
    • ‘You hear everything: coughing, hawking up a loogey, vomiting.’
    • ‘Having spent most of last night coughing, hawking and spitting, I really wasn't in the mood for the arrival of Lucy Smooth's workmen this morning.’
    • ‘Their subtle lack of receptiveness is finally made flagrantly obvious when one noisily hawks an enormous loogie and spits it onto the stove, where it sizzles like an oyster at a beachside barbecue.’
    • ‘He had hawked up as much phlegm and mucus as he could muster into that spit and watched it slide nastily down Cassius' face in streaks of yellow and white.’
    • ‘Plus, who doesn't like hawking up big gobs of phlegm?’
    • ‘Misogyny is metal's oldest, most boring trick and no less boring when it's spouted by some guy who sounds like he's trying to hawk up a loogie.’
    1. 1.1hawk something upwith object Bring phlegm up from the throat.
      • ‘They stood on the dusty grass together, blowing brown slime from their noses and hawking it up from their throats.’
      • ‘I was prepared to neatly hawk it up, wipe my mouth, and toss my little bag in the nearest trash can.’
      • ‘Well most people can hawk it up and spit it out of their mouth… but I cannot do that.’
      • ‘The whole thing sticks in my throat like a fish bone, and I've got to hawk it up or choke to death on it.’
      • ‘I don't know if I swallowed it or hawked it up, but I couldn't get it to go either way for a long time.’
      • ‘Adults have the type of lung TB that forms abscesses and they produce lots of sputum, lots of AFBS and can hawk it up to be tested.’
      • ‘Regarding personal habits, you will meet few people who still manage snot and mucus in the traditional way by hawking it up noisily and then spitting, at least not in the city.’

Origin

Late 16th century: probably imitative.

Pronunciation

hawk

/hɔːk/

Main definitions of hawk in English

: hawk1hawk2hawk3hawk4

hawk4

noun

  • A plasterer's square board with a handle underneath for carrying plaster or mortar.

    • ‘Load some stucco on a hawk and then onto your trowel.’
    • ‘Moisten your plywood hawk and load it up with mortar. Hold the hawk against the wall and use a long, thin trowel to pack mortar into joints.’
    • ‘Load the mortar onto a mortar hawk, then press the filler into the joints with a joint filler.’
    • ‘For large jobs, a hawk is better than a mud pan.’

Origin

Late Middle English: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

hawk

/hɔːk/