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In falconry, any diurnal bird of prey, used in falconry.

Hawk is also used to denote a person who advocates an aggressive or warlike policy, especially in foreign affairs; the opposite of a dove.

have eyes like a hawk miss nothing of what is going on around one.

hawks will not pick out hawks' eyes powerful people from the same group will not attack one another (compare dog does not eat dog). The saying is recorded from the late 16th century.

know a hawk from a handsaw have ordinary discernment, chiefly with allusion to Shakespeare's Hamlet, when Hamlet, who has been feigning madness, says, ‘I am but mad north-north-west; when the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.’ (Handsaw is generally taken as an alteration of heronshaw, a heron.)

watch someone like a hawk keep a vigilant eye on someone, especially to check that they do nothing wrong.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.

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