hawk·​shaw | \ ˈhȯk-ˌshȯ How to pronounce hawkshaw (audio) \

Definition of hawkshaw

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If you're a fan of mystery writing, you may have a favorite fictional detective. Perhaps it's Hercule Poirot (created by Agatha Christie), Lord Peter Wimsey (created by Dorothy L. Sayers), or Mike Hammer (created by Mickey Spillane). These and other famous sleuths from the mystery genre follow in the tradition of a fictional detective from the 19th century: Hawkshaw, a theatrical gumshoe introduced in the 1863 play The Ticket of Leave Man by British dramatist Tom Taylor. "Hawkshaw" gained further popularity as a general term for a detective when the name was used for a character in a comic strip by American cartoonist Gus Mager.

Examples of hawkshaw in a Sentence

the firm hired a hawkshaw to find out who was fencing stock from their warehouse

First Known Use of hawkshaw

1888, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hawkshaw

from Hawkshaw, detective in the play The Ticket of Leave Man (1863) by Tom Taylor

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The first known use of hawkshaw was in 1888

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Dictionary Entries Near hawkshaw

hawksbill turtle


hawk swallow

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Cite this Entry

“Hawkshaw.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hawkshaw. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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