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- 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.
- Family Accipitridae: several genera, especially Accipiter, which includes the sparrowhawk and goshawk
- 2a person who advocates an aggressive or warlike policy, especially in foreign affairs: severe limits were put on the peace plan by party hawksCompare with dove1 (sense 2).
Old English hafoc, heafoc, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch havik and German Habicht