Main definitions of hawk in US 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.

    Family Accipitridae: several genera, especially Accipiter, which includes the Cooper's hawk and goshawk

    Compare with falcon
    • ‘When I tipped my head back, I saw the hawk buckle its wings and plummet behind the trees.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Gulls, hawks and vultures soar, swallows and terns skim the surface of water.’
    • ‘The blinding sun flashed over the graceful wings of the hawk soaring through the clouds.’
    • ‘Along waterways and ponds you're likely to see parrots and macaws, hawks and jabiru storks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Bird watchers will be treated to the sight of caracara hawks, Florida sandhill cranes, and numerous other species.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘To her surprise, an enormous hawk was perched on the branch of the cherry blossom tree.’
    • ‘The fencing is 5 feet high and has occasional cross fencing to keep hawks from swooping in and snatching up one of the chickens.’
    • ‘In addition to rare plants and wildflowers, you'll find hawks and ospreys lining the river and a host of waders along the shoreline.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Many wild hatchlings of these earlier returnees have fallen prey to Galapagos hawks, a natural predator that has coexisted with tortoises for eons.’
    • ‘Around the lake we could see samples of most of Florida's native birds, such as osprey, anhinga, eagles, hawks, and herons.’
    • ‘Red-tailed hawks and turkey vultures circled above us in a blue sky.’
    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. 1.2Falconry 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.’
      • ‘He resembles a small hawk or falcon who has just been unhooded: rapt, sharp-featured, luminously alive to the moment.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘An Ayrshire school was forced to hire falconers armed with hawks to safeguard its pupils.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2A person who advocates an aggressive or warlike policy, especially in foreign affairs.

    Compare with dove (sense 2)
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Leading hawks within the Bush administration are gloating over their humbling of Europe and are opposed to any concessions to America's rivals.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Gore, too, once was a moderate, a founder of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council and a hawk on foreign policy.’
    • ‘I'm a fiscal conservative, social/cultural liberal and foreign policy hawk.’
    • ‘He's following the path of conservative hawks who have derailed progress with North Korea for the past decade.’
    • ‘I'm a classical liberal, economically (laissez-faire is my mantra) and a hawk on foreign policy and defense.’
    • ‘Most liberal hawks have advocated a muscular enforcement of the human rights agenda.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mirroring the shallowness of hawks, who condemn peaceniks for their lack of patriotism, many doves castigate anyone who is not opposed to war.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘Regime change’ is now the justification for war, with all that this implies for the future plans of the hawks in the White House.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Right now, the Democratic foreign policy hawks are calling for more troops - an impossibility.’
    • ‘Japan's leaders are neither doves nor hawks but pragmatists, for whom economic and military security are equally important.’

verb

[no object]
  • 1(of a person) hunt game with a trained hawk.

    ‘he spent the afternoon 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.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’

Phrases

  • have eyes like a hawk

    • Miss nothing of what is going on around one.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Mr. Martin has eyes like a hawk, and sees all.’
      • ‘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.

      • ‘I watch him like a hawk as he goes back to the car for some tools.’
      • ‘Either way from the moment he arrived back on US soil the FBI watched him like a hawk.’
      • ‘My gaze caught Donovan's, who was watching me like a hawk.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He settled back in his chair, but I noticed that he was watching me like a hawk.’
      • ‘Just being here, I've been watching them like a hawk and seeing what they're doing behind the scenes.’
      • ‘She watches me like a hawk and I'm sure it's her careful eye that has helped me keep so well.’
      • ‘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).’
      • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

hawk

/hɔk//hôk/

Main definitions of hawk in US English:

: hawk1hawk2hawk3hawk4

hawk2

verb

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

    ‘street traders were hawking costume jewelry’
    • ‘By coincidence, the restaurant was across the street from where Bradbury was hawking newspapers.’
    • ‘Men and women everywhere hawked government-controlled newspapers printed on a grayish, low-grade newsprint no doubt full of comparably dull propaganda.’
    • ‘Young boys hawking phone cards and cigarettes circulate among the tables as regularly as the uniformed waiters.’
    • ‘I felt a little uncharitable: maybe they were just honest but hard-up Grimsby trawlermen, reduced to hawking their catch on the streets.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Stall owners hawked their wares under canopies of brightly colored cloth.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The streets were crowded with all sorts of creatures hawking their wares and goods.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As recently as the late 1960s, vendors hawked turtle eggs in the streets of Chennai.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I also saw Microsoft tablet PC kiosks in Denver, as well as a booth hawking Intel's new Centrino product.’
    • ‘Children hawk small items and souvenirs, sometimes working for the vendors who have stalls in Sangha near the guesthouse.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She liked to shop, casually wandering throughout the market, occasionally listening to the white clad merchants hawk their wares.’
    • ‘This conference exists so they can hawk their wares to an audience of government officials, in this case mostly mayors.’
    • ‘At Miami Carnival in October, several soca music traders set up stalls at major venues, openly hawking illegally acquired wares and at giveaway prices.’
    • ‘They spend hours browsing such jewellery hawked on pavements.’
    • ‘Hacks offered guided rides, property owners preserved battle damage for display, and relic hunters hawked everything from bones to bullets.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

hawk

/hɔk//hôk/

Main definitions of hawk in US English:

: hawk1hawk2hawk3hawk4

hawk3

verb

[no object]
  • 1Clear the throat noisily.

    ‘he hawked and spat into the flames’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You hear everything: coughing, hawking up a loogey, vomiting.’
    • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Well most people can hawk it up and spit it out of their mouth… but I cannot do that.’
      • ‘I was prepared to neatly hawk it up, wipe my mouth, and toss my little bag in the nearest trash can.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 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.’

Origin

Late 16th century: probably imitative.

Pronunciation

hawk

/hɔk//hôk/

Main definitions of hawk in US 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.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

Late Middle English: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

hawk

/hɔk//hôk/