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[jur-fawl-kuh n, -fal-, -faw-kuh n] /ˈdʒɜrˌfɔl kən, -ˌfæl-, -ˌfɔ kən/
a large falcon, Falco rusticolus, of arctic and subarctic regions, having white, gray, or blackish color phases: now greatly reduced in number.
Also, gerfalcon.
1300-50; Middle English gerfaucon, jerfacoun < Middle French, Old French, equivalent to ger- (perhaps < Old High German giri greedy) + faucon falcon; compare Old Norse geirfalki Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for gyrfalcon
  • gyrfalcon nesting territory occupancy and reproductive success.
  • Common raven build stick nests under the bridge, which are used by gyrfalcon some years.
British Dictionary definitions for gyrfalcon


/ˈdʒɜːˌfɔːlkən; -ˌfɔːkən/
a very large rare falcon, Falco rusticolus, of northern and arctic regions: often used for hunting
Word Origin
C14: from Old French gerfaucon, perhaps from Old Norse geirfalki, from geirr spear + falki falcon
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for gyrfalcon
1209, from O.Fr. gerfauc, probably from Frankish, from P.Gmc. *ger (cf. O.H.G. gir "vulture") + L. falco "hawk." Folk etymology connects it with L. gyrus (see gyre) in reference to "circling" in the air.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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