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 (tûr′səl) also tier·cel (tîr′səl)
A male falcon or hawk, especially a peregrine falcon or gyrfalcon.

[Middle English, from Old French terçuel, from Vulgar Latin *tertiōlus, diminutive of Latin tertius, third (perhaps because the third egg in every clutch was thought to hatch into a male, or because male hawks were said to be a third smaller than females); see trei- in Indo-European roots.]


(ˈtɜːsəl) or


(Falconry) a male falcon or hawk, esp as used in falconry
[C14: from Old French, from Vulgar Latin tertiolus (unattested), from Latin tertius third, referring to the tradition that only one egg in three hatched a male chick]


(ˈtɜr səl)

also terce•let

(ˈtɜrs lɪt)


the male of a hawk, esp. of a gyrfalcon or peregrine.
[1350–1400; Middle English < Middle French terçuel < Vulgar Latin *tertiolus= Latin terti(us) third + -olus -ole1; probably so called because the male is about one third smaller than the female]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.tercel - male hawk especially male peregrine or gyrfalcontercel - male hawk especially male peregrine or gyrfalcon
hawk - diurnal bird of prey typically having short rounded wings and a long tail
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