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

Other Words from accipiter

accipitrine \ ak-​ˈsi-​pə-​ˌtrīn How to pronounce accipiter (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, 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, 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

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

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Cite this Entry

“Accipiter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on accipiter

Britannica English: Translation of accipiter for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about accipiter


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