accipiter

noun
ac·​cip·​i·​ter | \ ak-ˈsi-pə-tər How to pronounce accipiter (audio) , ik- \

Definition of accipiter

: any of a genus (Accipiter) of medium-sized forest-inhabiting hawks that have short broad wings and a long tail and a characteristic flight pattern of several quick flaps and a glide

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from accipiter

accipitrine \ ak-​ˈsi-​pə-​ˌtrīn How to pronounce accipitrine (audio) , ik-​ \ adjective or noun

Examples of accipiter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web These hawks are accipiters: raptors evolved specifically to hunt in the woodland canopy. Dave Taft, New York Times, "Little Terror of the Flyway," 19 Oct. 2017 All accipiters, including the sharp-shinned hawk, and its close relative the Cooper’s hawk, have distinctive flight patterns that are useful in identifying them, even at a distance. Dave Taft, New York Times, "Little Terror of the Flyway," 19 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'accipiter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of accipiter

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for accipiter

borrowed from New Latin, going back to Latin, "hawk, falcon," altered (probably by assimilation to accipere "to grasp, take, accept") from pre-Latin *acu-petri- "having swift wings," from *acu- (akin to Latin ōcior "swifter," Greek ōkýs "swift") + *petri- (akin to Sanskrit patram "wing, feather") — more at feather entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about accipiter

Time Traveler for accipiter

Time Traveler

The first known use of accipiter was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for accipiter

Cite this Entry

“Accipiter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/accipiter. Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on accipiter

Britannica English: Translation of accipiter for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about accipiter

Comments on accipiter

What made you want to look up accipiter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!