fal·con / ˈfalkən; ˈfôl-/ •
n. a diurnal bird of prey (family Falconidae, esp. the genus Falco) with long pointed wings and a notched beak, typically catching prey by diving on it from above. Compare with hawk1 (sense 1). ∎ one of these birds kept and trained to hunt small game for sport. ∎ Falconry the female of such a bird, esp. a peregrine.
in Egyptian mythology, the god Horus
is represented as having the head of a falcon.
The name is recorded from Middle English (in form faucon
, originally denoting any diurnal bird of prey used in falconry), and comes via Old French, from late Latin falco
, from Latin falx
‘scythe’ (or of Germanic origin, related to Dutch and German). The -l-
was added in the 15th century to conform with the Latin spelling.
Widely distributed, hawk-like bird of prey, sometimes trained by man to hunt game. Falcons have keen eyesight, short hooked bills, long pointed wings, streamlined bodies, strong legs with hooked claws, and grey or brownish plumage with lighter markings. The females are much larger than the males. Falcons feed on insects, smaller birds, and small ground animals. They can kill on the wing, using their talons. They lay two to five brown-spotted white eggs, often in abandoned nests. Length: 15–64cm (6–25in). Family Falconidae.
XIII. ME. faucon
— (O)F., obl. case of fauc
:- late L. falcō
, of uncert. orig.; sp. (l
) XV after Latin.