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
    • ‘The blinding sun flashed over the graceful wings of the hawk soaring through the clouds.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Bird watchers will be treated to the sight of caracara hawks, Florida sandhill cranes, and numerous other species.’
    • ‘To her surprise, an enormous hawk was perched on the branch of the cherry blossom tree.’
    • ‘When I tipped my head back, I saw the hawk buckle its wings and plummet behind the trees.’
    • ‘Gulls, hawks and vultures soar, swallows and terns skim the surface of water.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In addition to rare plants and wildflowers, you'll find hawks and ospreys lining the river and a host of waders along the shoreline.’
    • ‘Many wild hatchlings of these earlier returnees have fallen prey to Galapagos hawks, a natural predator that has coexisted with tortoises for eons.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Around the lake we could see samples of most of Florida's native birds, such as osprey, anhinga, eagles, hawks, and herons.’
    • ‘Look for seals and river otters that sometimes come in at high tide and hawks that cruise the surrounding fields for small game.’
    • ‘Red-tailed hawks and turkey vultures circled above us in a blue sky.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1North American A bird of prey related to the buteos.
      • ‘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. 1.2Sport
      Any diurnal bird of prey used in falconry.
      • ‘He enjoyed the atmosphere and, despite the distance, is interested in bringing his owls, hawks and falcons back down next year.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A favorite hunting hawk of the emperors flew into the camp of Guru Hargobind who was also hunting.’
      • ‘The regular flying demonstrations give visitors the opportunity to see some of the 75 eagles, falcons, hawks, vultures and owls at close range.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Employees from Ashford Castle's school of falconry bring hawks and falcons to Rathroeen where they keep vermin and other birds at bay.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘An Ayrshire school was forced to hire falconers armed with hawks to safeguard its pupils.’
      • ‘He resembles a small hawk or falcon who has just been unhooded: rapt, sharp-featured, luminously alive to the moment.’
  • 2A person who advocates an aggressive or warlike policy, especially in foreign affairs.

    Compare with dove
    • ‘Right now, the Democratic foreign policy hawks are calling for more troops - an impossibility.’
    • ‘Gore, too, once was a moderate, a founder of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council and a hawk on foreign policy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I'm a classical liberal, economically (laissez-faire is my mantra) and a hawk on foreign policy and defense.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mirroring the shallowness of hawks, who condemn peaceniks for their lack of patriotism, many doves castigate anyone who is not opposed to war.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Japan's leaders are neither doves nor hawks but pragmatists, for whom economic and military security are equally important.’
    • ‘‘Regime change’ is now the justification for war, with all that this implies for the future plans of the hawks in the White House.’
    • ‘He's following the path of conservative hawks who have derailed progress with North Korea for the past decade.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Most liberal hawks have advocated a muscular enforcement of the human rights agenda.’
    • ‘Leading hawks within the Bush administration are gloating over their humbling of Europe and are opposed to any concessions to America's rivals.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I'm a fiscal conservative, social/cultural liberal and foreign policy hawk.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’

verb

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

    ‘he spent the afternoon hawking’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 2(of a bird or dragonfly) hunt on the wing for food.

    ‘swifts hawked low over the water’
    [with object] ‘dragonflies hawk and feed on flies’
    • ‘For the first time this year there were lots of swifts hawking the riverside fields.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Swifts screaming overhead, hawking for insects in their no-compromise lifestyle.’
    • ‘Fishing bats are large, yellow-orange, and rather pungent creatures that can hawk large flying insects or snag small ocean fish from the surf.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

hawk

/hôk/

Main definitions of hawk in English

: hawk1hawk2hawk3hawk4

hawk2

verb

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

    ‘street traders were hawking costume jewelry’
    • ‘They spend hours browsing such jewellery hawked on pavements.’
    • ‘The streets were crowded with all sorts of creatures hawking their wares and goods.’
    • ‘I felt a little uncharitable: maybe they were just honest but hard-up Grimsby trawlermen, reduced to hawking their catch on the streets.’
    • ‘As recently as the late 1960s, vendors hawked turtle eggs in the streets of Chennai.’
    • ‘Stall owners hawked their wares under canopies of brightly colored cloth.’
    • ‘By coincidence, the restaurant was across the street from where Bradbury was hawking newspapers.’
    • ‘I also saw Microsoft tablet PC kiosks in Denver, as well as a booth hawking Intel's new Centrino product.’
    • ‘At Miami Carnival in October, several soca music traders set up stalls at major venues, openly hawking illegally acquired wares and at giveaway prices.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She liked to shop, casually wandering throughout the market, occasionally listening to the white clad merchants hawk their wares.’
    • ‘Bands played, people danced, and merchants hawked their wares.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This conference exists so they can hawk their wares to an audience of government officials, in this case mostly mayors.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Men and women everywhere hawked government-controlled newspapers printed on a grayish, low-grade newsprint no doubt full of comparably dull propaganda.’
    • ‘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: back-formation from hawker.

Pronunciation:

hawk

/hôk/

Main definitions of hawk in English

: hawk1hawk2hawk3hawk4

hawk3

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1 Clear the throat noisily.

    ‘he hawked and spat into the flames’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Plus, who doesn't like hawking up big gobs of phlegm?’
    • ‘You hear everything: coughing, hawking up a loogey, vomiting.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1[with object]Bring phlegm up from the throat.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They stood on the dusty grass together, blowing brown slime from their noses and hawking it up from their throats.’

Origin

Late 16th century: probably imitative.

Pronunciation:

hawk

/hôk/

Main definitions of hawk in English

: hawk1hawk2hawk3hawk4

hawk4

noun

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

    • ‘For large jobs, a hawk is better than a mud pan.’
    • ‘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 some stucco on a hawk and then onto your trowel.’
    • ‘Load the mortar onto a mortar hawk, then press the filler into the joints with a joint filler.’

Origin

Late Middle English: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation:

hawk

/hôk/