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sparrow hawk

a small, short-winged European hawk, Accipiter nisus, that preys on smaller birds.
Origin of sparrow hawk
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sparrow-hawk
Historical Examples
  • Three Libyan standards are captured: the ram, the lion, and the sparrow-hawk!

    The Pharaoh and the Priest Alexander Glovatski
  • And with his bundle of belongings on his shoulder, he hurried off to where the sparrow-hawk lay.

  • Downstairs the Earl was telling Geraint that last night the sparrow-hawk had sent back all their treasures.

  • It is because he has won the prize so often that he is called the sparrow-hawk.

    King Arthur and His Knights Maude L. Radford
  • So he flung away spear and crossbow, turned himself into a sparrow-hawk, and darted down on the sparrow.

  • Captain Irving recognised the sparrow-hawk, and immediately came on board.

    The Privateersman Frederick Marryat
  • There sure enough was a bird, not much larger than a common pigeon, but which had all the appearance of a sparrow-hawk.

    The Forest Exiles Mayne Reid
  • "I am a barn-door fowl that has hatched out a sparrow-hawk," he said meekly.

    Patsy S. R. Crockett
  • On the wing he is much slower than the sparrow-hawk; his wings are shorter, and his tail is tipped with white.

    Birds in Flight W. P. Pycraft
  • Captain Irving recognized the sparrow-hawk, and immediately came on board.

    The Privateer's-Man Frederick Marryat
British Dictionary definitions for sparrow-hawk

sparrow hawk

a very small North American falcon, Falco sparverius, that is closely related to the kestrels
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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