- any bird of prey trained to hunt and kill small game: in falconry the female is called a falcon, the male a tiercel
- any of various birds of prey (family Falconidae), with long, pointed wings and a short, curved, notched beak
Origin of falconfrom the former practice of naming kinds of firearms after birds of prey a small cannon used from the 15th to the 17th cent.
Origin of falconMiddle English from Old French faucon from Late Latin falco (gen. falconis), derived, derivative by folk etymology from Classical Latin falx (see falcate) because of its curved beak and talons, but probably from Germanic an unverified form falco (OHG falcho) from Indo-European base an unverified form pel-, fallow
- a. Any of various birds of prey of the family Falconidae and especially of the genus Falco, having a short, curved beak and long, pointed, powerful wings adapted for swift flight.b. Any of several birds of these or related species, such as hawks, trained to hunt small game.c. A female bird of this type used in falconry.
- A small cannon in use from the 15th to the 17th century.
Origin of falconMiddle English from Old French faucon, falcun from Late Latin falcō falcōn-; see pel-1 in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present falcons, present participle falconing, simple past and past participle falconed)
- To hunt with a falcon or falcons.
From Middle English falcon, faulcon, from Anglo-Norman falcon, falcun, from Late Latin falcō (“falcon”), of Germanic origin, probably via Old Frankish *falko (“falcon, hawk”), from Proto-Germanic *falkô (“falcon”), from from Proto-Indo-European *pol̑- (“pale”), from *pel- (“fallow”).
Cognate with Old English fealca, fealcen (“falcon”), Dutch valk (“falcon, hawk”), German Falke (“falcon, hawk”), Swedish falk (“falcon”), Icelandic fálki (“falcon”), Lithuanian pálšas (“pale”), Latvian bāls (“pale”), Latgalian buolgs (“pale”). More at fallow.