One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1historical A light cannon.
- ‘When your army is in battle and that army includes falconets, be sure to have your falconets firing on the enemy infantry at all times.’
- ‘The falconets and rockets have the same damage against infrantry...Why use factories to produce rockets if the falconets do the same damage?’
2A very small South Asian (or South American) falcon, typically having bold black-and-white plumage.
- ‘Falconidae contains 11 genera and 64 species, and is divided into two subfamilies, Polyborinae (caracaras and forest-falcons) and Falconinae (true falcons and falconets).’
- ‘The true falcons range in size from the tiny falconets and pygmy falcons to the Gyrfalcon. The falconets feed mainly on insects.’
- ‘Until you spot a long-limbed, regal caracara or a cute, little falconet, you haven't met the whole Falconidae family.’
- ‘The only confirmed predators of treeswifts are Asian falconets, although there are almost certainly additional predators (snakes, for example, are likely predators).’
- ‘The small falconets hunt the forests of Southeast Asia, Borneo and the Philippines.’
Mid 16th century: from Italian falconetto, diminutive of falcone ‘falcon’, from Latin falco (see falcon). falconet (sense 2) is from falcon + -et.
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