One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A hawk of a type that is reputed to prey on domestic fowl.
- ‘Overhead, a tiny but persistent washi bird attacked a much bigger chicken hawk on the wing to try and get feathers for its nest.’
- ‘A chicken-hawk flew down onto one of the burnt tree stumps.’
- ‘Red-tailed hawks are returning. They are also called chicken hawks although they normally eat more rodents, woodchucks, and rabbits than chickens.’
- ‘There was no one to overhear them save a speckled chicken hawk circling lazily on the updraft from the mountain.’
- ‘A solitary chicken hawk circled so slowly on a high updraft of air that he looked to be hanging motionless, a small brown kite.’
- 1.1informal An older man who seeks younger men or boys as sexual partners.
2informal A person who speaks out in support of war yet has avoided active military service.
- ‘Lately, the chicken hawks have been dissing the generals as sissies.’
- ‘In other words, it appears that he was something of a rightwinger, but hypocritical about his own status with the draft - a prototype of what we would now call a chickenhawk.’
- ‘But having to go to the UN at all was a defeat for the largely civilian 'chicken hawks' who make up the war party in Washington.’
- ‘Voter chose the chickenhawk over the war hero.’
- ‘What amazes me is how the current chicken hawks have conned America about how patriotic they are.’
- ‘In a whole series of pieces, Newfield went after what he crudely called the chicken hawks, the right-wing drum-bangers who had either dodged the war or invented a record in it.’
- ‘Every so often, anyone who supported the war has to contend with the cries of "Chickenhawk!"’
- ‘Like every other member of the group, we evaded the war in Vietnam. Some people see an ethical problem in this; they refer to us as chicken hawks.’
- ‘The chickenhawks, the cabal of right-wingers who never saw the far side of a military training ground, are the men now banging the drums for war in the White House.’
- ‘I really enjoy listening to these chickenhawks bloviating about the anti-war movement.’
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