A small falcon (Falco columbarius) of northern regions, having predominantly dark plumage and a black-striped tail. Also called pigeon hawk.(noun)
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Use "merlin" in a sentence
"The merlin was a type of falcon well adapted to a lady's purpose, and hawking parties were common among the Norman-English families of the neighborhood -- often including dames and demoiselles who flew their own falcons."
"She, who never cared for any table of precedence in her life, even where the higher animals were concerned, would only undertake to remember that the merlin was a lady's hawk, and this only upon condition, that she should have one to sit upon her wrist like the fair ladies in Wouvermans 'pictures."
""Why," said Alleyne, "a merlin is a bird of the same form as an eagle or a falcon."