hawk (n.)

c. 1300, hauk, earlier havek (c. 1200), from Old English hafoc (West Saxon), heafuc (Mercian), heafoc, "hawk," from Proto-Germanic *habukaz (source also of Old Norse haukr, Old Saxon habuc, Middle Dutch havik, Old High German habuh, German Habicht "hawk"), from PIE root *kap- "to grasp" (source also of Russian kobec "a kind of falcon"). Transferred sense of "militarist" attested from 1956, probably based on its opposite, dove.

hawk (v.1)

"to sell in the open, peddle," late 15c., back-formation from hawker "itinerant vendor" (c. 1400), agent noun from Middle Low German höken "to peddle, carry on the back, squat," from Proto-Germanic *huk-. Related: Hawked; hawking. Despite the etymological connection with stooping under a burden on one's back, a hawker is technically distinguished from a peddler by use of a horse and cart or a van.

hawk (v.2)

"to hunt with a hawk," mid-14c., from hawk (n.).

hawk (v.3)

"to clear one's throat," 1580s, imitative.

updated on April 11, 2017

Definitions of hawk from WordNet
hawk (v.)
sell or offer for sale from place to place;
Synonyms: peddle / monger / huckster / vend / pitch
hawk (v.)
hunt with hawks;
the tribes like to hawk in the desert
hawk (v.)
clear mucus or food from one's throat;
Synonyms: clear the throat
hawk (n.)
diurnal bird of prey typically having short rounded wings and a long tail;
hawk (n.)
an advocate of an aggressive policy on foreign relations;
Synonyms: war hawk
hawk (n.)
a square board with a handle underneath; used by masons to hold or carry mortar;
Synonyms: mortarboard
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