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
accipitrineplay \-ˈsi-pə-ˌtrīn\ adjective or noun
Origin and Etymology of 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 1feather
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up accipiter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).