peregrine falcon


: a swift nearly cosmopolitan falcon (Falco peregrinus) often used in falconry

called also peregrine

Illustration of peregrine falcon

Illustration of peregrine falcon

Examples of peregrine falcon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But restoring bald eagles, peregrine falcons, California condors, and gray wolves wasn’t just governmental theater. TIME, 12 Dec. 2023 The peregrine falcon population dropped by more than 70 percent in the western United States by the mid-1960s. Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, 2 July 2023 Grab the Bull by the Horns by Jack Zhi This year’s winning entry shows the dramatic moment a female peregrine falcon attacked a brown pelican, while both were flying in southern California. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Sep. 2023 During the breeding season, a female peregrine falcon fiercely protects her young, attacking anything that comes near the nest. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 5 Sep. 2023 In the decades since the DDT ban in the U.S. and other countries, peregrine falcons came back. Ned Rozell | Alaska Science, Anchorage Daily News, 13 Aug. 2023 Downtown Cincinnati's Mercantile Library has an unofficial mascot in the peregrine falcon. Annasofia Scheve, The Enquirer, 28 June 2023 Explore the trail and keep an eye out for the birds, including bald eagles and peregrine falcons, that live in the area. Elizabeth Rhodes, Travel + Leisure, 19 Apr. 2023 What does the future hold for peregrine falcons, just a few years ago considered a great comeback success story? Ned Rozell | Alaska Science, Anchorage Daily News, 13 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'peregrine falcon.' 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 faukon peregryn, from Medieval Latin falco peregrinus, literally, pilgrim falcon; from the young being captured wandering from their nests, which were too inaccessible to reach easily

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near peregrine falcon

Cite this Entry

“Peregrine falcon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

peregrine falcon

per·​e·​grine falcon
: a dark swift widely distributed falcon that can be tamed and trained to hunt game

called also peregrine

More from Merriam-Webster on peregrine falcon

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