gyrfalcon

noun

gyr·​fal·​con ˈjər-ˌfal-kən How to pronounce gyrfalcon (audio)
-ˌfȯl-,
 also  -ˌfȯ-kən
: an arctic falcon (Falco rusticolus) that occurs in several color forms and is the largest of all falcons

Illustration of gyrfalcon

Illustration of gyrfalcon

Examples of gyrfalcon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Swanson guided the raptor — a hybrid of the Arctic gyrfalcon and Western U.S. prairie falcon, which can dive at speeds of around 100 miles per hour — onto his leather-gloved fist and walked with Savastano and Gillian up onto the boardwalk. New York Times, 23 June 2022 Among al-Kāmil’s gifts to Frederick was a gyrfalcon, a splendid bird of prey that originates in the Arctic and North America, and likely came from Iceland, then almost at the northwestern edge of European exploration. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 28 June 2021 Now the gyrfalcon’s year-round home is the fastest-warming region on Earth. George Steinmetz, National Geographic, 24 July 2020 Pictured, below left: These gyrfalcon chicks are about 25 days old and ready to be banded by biologists so they can be identified in the future. George Steinmetz, National Geographic, 24 July 2020 What does a gyrfalcon, aerial queen of the Arctic, look like in its own domain? George Steinmetz, National Geographic, 24 July 2020 Emperors flew eagles and vultures; kings flew gyrfalcons; and ladies flew merlins, a species favored by Mary, Queen of Scots, in the 16th century. Kate Donnelly, Travel + Leisure, 22 Apr. 2020 Only 3% of all falcons are gyrfalcons, and only 1% of gyrfalcons are white, the academy said. Ryan Prior, CNN, 2 Oct. 2019 To give context of their rarity, 3 percent of all falcons are gyrfalcons, and only 1 percent of that 3 percent are white. Ryan Prior, CNN, 2 Oct. 2019 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English gerfaucun, from Anglo-French girfauc, girfaucon, probably from gir vulture (from Old High German gīr) + faucon falcon

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gyrfalcon was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near gyrfalcon

Cite this Entry

“Gyrfalcon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gyrfalcon. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

gyrfalcon

noun
gyr·​fal·​con ˈjər-ˌfal-kən How to pronounce gyrfalcon (audio)
-ˌfȯl-;
-ˌfȯ-kən
: an arctic falcon that occurs in shades of white, gray, or dark brown and is the largest of all falcons

More from Merriam-Webster on gyrfalcon

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