A hawk is a relatively large bird that hunts small animals. Hawks tend to surprise their prey, swooping down on it from above.

Among birds of prey, hawks are medium-sized, with long tails and curved wings. Hawks use their high intelligence and sharp eyes for hunting smaller birds and mammals. You can also use the word hawk to mean a pro-war politician or political advisor, a term that's often contrasted with "dove," someone who almost always opposes war. This metaphorical hawk has been around since the 1960s.

Definitions of hawk
  1. noun
    diurnal bird of prey typically having short rounded wings and a long tail
    see moresee less
    show 30 types...
    hide 30 types...
    an unfledged or nestling hawk
    tercel, tercelet, tiercel
    male hawk especially male peregrine or gyrfalcon
    Accipiter gentilis, goshawk
    large hawk of Eurasia and North America used in falconry
    Accipiter nisus, sparrow hawk
    small hawk of Eurasia and northern Africa
    Accipiter cooperii, Cooper's hawk, blue darter
    bluish-grey North American hawk having a darting flight
    chicken hawk, hen hawk
    nontechnical term for any hawks said to prey on poultry
    any hawk of the genus Buteo
    Buteo jamaicensis, red-tailed hawk, redtail
    dark brown American hawk species having a reddish-brown tail
    Buteo lagopus, rough-legged hawk, roughleg
    large hawk of the northern hemisphere that feeds chiefly on small rodents and is beneficial to farmers
    Buteo lineatus, red-shouldered hawk
    North American hawk with reddish brown shoulders
    Buteo buteo, buzzard
    the common European short-winged hawk
    Pernis apivorus, honey buzzard
    Old World hawk that feeds on bee larvae and small rodents and reptiles
    any of several small graceful hawks of the family Accipitridae having long pointed wings and feeding on insects and small animals
    hawks that hunt over meadows and marshes and prey on small terrestrial animals
    harrier eagle, short-toed eagle
    any of numerous large Old World hawks intermediate in some respects between typical hawks and typical eagles
    diurnal birds of prey having long pointed powerful wings adapted for swift flight
    Pandion haliaetus, fish eagle, fish hawk, osprey, sea eagle
    large harmless hawk found worldwide that feeds on fish and builds a bulky nest often occupied for years
    Milvus migrans, black kite
    dark Old World kite feeding chiefly on carrion
    Elanoides forficatus, swallow-tailed hawk, swallow-tailed kite
    graceful North American black-and-white kite
    Elanus leucurus, white-tailed kite
    grey-and-white American kite of warm and tropical regions
    Circus Aeruginosus, marsh harrier
    Old World harrier frequenting marshy regions
    Circus pygargus, Montagu's harrier
    brownish European harrier
    Circus cyaneus, hen harrier, marsh hawk, northern harrier
    common harrier of North America and Europe; nests in marshes and open land
    Falco peregrinus, peregrine, peregrine falcon
    a widely distributed falcon formerly used in falconry
    Falco rusticolus, gerfalcon, gyrfalcon
    large and rare Arctic falcon having white and dark color phases
    Falco tinnunculus, kestrel
    small Old World falcon that hovers in the air against a wind
    American kestrel, Falco sparverius, kestrel, sparrow hawk
    small North American falcon
    Falco columbarius, merlin, pigeon hawk
    small falcon of Europe and America having dark plumage with black-barred tail; used in falconry
    Falco subbuteo, hobby
    small Old World falcon formerly trained and flown at small birds
    any of various long-legged carrion-eating hawks of South America and Central America
    type of:
    bird of prey, raptor, raptorial bird
    any of numerous carnivorous birds that hunt and kill other animals
  2. noun
    an advocate of an aggressive policy on foreign relations
    synonyms: war hawk
    see moresee less
    dove, peacenik
    someone who prefers negotiations to armed conflict in the conduct of foreign relations
    type of:
    militarist, warmonger
    a person who advocates war or warlike policies
  3. verb
    hunt with hawks
    “the tribes like to hawk in the desert”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    hunt, hunt down, run, track down
    pursue for food or sport (as of wild animals)
  4. noun
    a square board with a handle underneath; used by masons to hold or carry mortar
    synonyms: mortarboard
    see moresee less
    type of:
    a flat piece of material designed for a special purpose
  5. verb
    sell or offer for sale from place to place
    synonyms: huckster, monger, peddle, pitch, vend
    see moresee less
    type of:
    deal, sell, trade
    do business; offer for sale as for one's livelihood
  6. verb
    clear mucus or food from one's throat
    synonyms: clear the throat
    see moresee less
    type of:
    exhale abruptly, as when one has a chest cold or congestion
Word Family
F1 image

Express yourself in 25 languages

  • Learn immersively - no memorization required
  • Build skills for real-world conversations
  • Get immediate feedback on your pronunciation
Get started for $7.99/month