gos·​hawk ˈgäs-ˌhȯk How to pronounce goshawk (audio)
: any of several long-tailed hawks with short rounded wings
especially : a large accipiter (Accipiter gentilis) of the northern hemisphere that is grayish-blue above with a barred white-and-gray underside and has a white stripe above and behind the eye

Examples of goshawk in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Buy Now 20 of 20 'H is for Hawk' by Helen MacDonald After her father's death, Macdonald adopts a goshawk named Mabel, whose fierce temperament often reflects the author's own grief. Lizz Schumer, Peoplemag, 5 Mar. 2024 But when Swanson released his goshawk — a raptor known for its fierceness — into the affected building, the birds didn’t budge. New York Times, 23 June 2022 In Groton, a northern goshawk was photographed. Isabela Rocha, BostonGlobe.com, 3 Dec. 2022 Maybe the goshawk was sick. David Gilbert, The New Yorker, 10 Oct. 2022 The northern goshawk is a fast, powerful raptor that flies effortlessly through forests. IEEE Spectrum, 12 Nov. 2020 Jezebel, the goshawk, ended up contracting a host of bacterial and fungal infections, and Swanson also got sick himself. New York Times, 23 June 2022 Also at risk are rare species including northern goshawk, western toads, northern red legged frogs and brown bats. Lynda V. Mapes, Anchorage Daily News, 13 Sep. 2021 In Berkshire County, there was an acadian flycatcher and a Northern goshawk at Canoe Meadows in Pittsfield, a clay-colored sparrow at the Moran Wildlife Area in Windsor, and a continuing hooded warbler in New Marlborough. BostonGlobe.com, 3 July 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'goshawk.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English goshawke, from Old English gōshafoc, from gōs goose + hafoc hawk

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of goshawk was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near goshawk

Cite this Entry

“Goshawk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/goshawk. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


gos·​hawk ˈgäs-ˌhȯk How to pronounce goshawk (audio)
: a hawk of northern forests that has a long tail and short wings and is noted for its powerful flight and vigor

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