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hawks and doves

Respectively, those who favor or support aggressive military action, especially regarding foreign policy, versus those who are inclined to more peaceful, diplomatic solutions. After the terrorist attacks, the hawks in Congress demanded a unilateral attack on the foreign nation, while the doves among them maintained that diplomatic sanctions would be effective for the time being.
See also: and, dove, hawk

between hawk and buzzard

Caught between two extremes or two factions. The settlers on the border of the two warring states found themselves caught between hawk and buzzard.
See also: and, buzzard, hawk

know a hawk from a handsaw

To be able to tell two things apart. The phrase comes from Shakespeare's Hamlet. Of course I know which twin is which, I know a hawk from a handsaw, after all!
See also: hawk, know

watch someone or something like a hawk

Fig. to watch someone or something very carefully. The teacher watched the pupils like a hawk to make sure they did not cheat on the exam. We had to watch our dog like a hawk in case he ran away.
See also: hawk, like, watch

watch somebody like a hawk

to look at someone very carefully She had a horrible boss who watched everyone like a hawk.
Usage notes: usually said about someone who looks for people to do something wrong
Etymology: based on the idea that a hawk (type of bird) can see small objects from great distances
See also: hawk, like, watch

have eyes like a hawk

if someone has eyes like a hawk, they notice everything The supervisor has eyes like a hawk, so be careful she doesn't catch you eating at your desk.
See also: eye, have, hawk, like

watch somebody like a hawk

to watch someone very carefully, especially because you expect them to do something wrong I was being watched like a hawk by the shop assistant.
See also: hawk, like, watch

watch like a hawk

Observe very closely, as in I was watching him like a hawk, but I never did see him take your wallet. This simile alludes to the hawk's exceptionally keen sight.
See also: hawk, like, watch


1. n. someone who supports a warlike U.S. defense policy. (Compare this with dove.) The hawks want to raise taxes and buy tanks.
2. in. to cough mightily; to cough something up. The cold has had me hawking for a week.
3. and the hawk n. the cold winter wind. (see also Mr. Hawkins.) Man, just feel the hawk cut through you!

the hawk

See hawk
See also: hawk
References in periodicals archive ?
Last week, the air of increased hawkishness among investors led to a rise in bond yields, and a correction in some of the more interest-rate sensitive high-yielders, such as utilities.
Bill Clinton, a president not known for hawkishness, nearly went to war against North Korea in the spring of 1994.
He has to walk a fine line between the hawkishness of Washington and the traditional trickery of Saddam's regime.
Asian markets kept their nerve on Wednesday counting on the Federal Reserve to launch only a modest scaling back of stimulus later in the day, though all assets were vulnerable to any hint of hawkishness from the world's most powerful central bank.
Just as Obama demoralized his base and mobilized his enemies by pushing the wrong mix of foreign-policy hawkishness and domestic statism, Republicans like Mitt Romney are itching to pull another bait-and-switch on the Right by putting militarism ahead of domestic conservatism.
Abe's presentation clearly indicated a conservative ideology characterized by nationalism and hawkishness in security matters.
Abe's nationalism and hawkishness may be attractive to a segment of Japanese people who feel Mr.
ALTHOUGH I DISLIKE DONALD Rumsfeld's relentless hawkishness, I do admire his effort to move the armed forces into the 21st century and get rid of the antiquated force structures that have little relation to modern warfare.
Not, I believe, merely because Kosovo hogged publicity during the election campaign, but Labour voters' disgust at the Nato hawkishness of the ubiquitous and insufferable Blair - whose Kosovo chestnuts are not yet out of the fire.
I think the euro will be supported, but it will need a dose of hawkishness from the European Central Bank to rise," said Koji Fukaya, chief FX strategist at Credit Suisse in Tokyo.
He went on to rank with James Fallows, Pat Choate, and Chalmers Johnson as one of the key American "revisionists" who inspired a brief, much publicized spell of hawkishness towards Japanese trade practices two decades ago.
Shoichi Nakagawa, who was named Monday as chairman of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's Policy Research Council, is close to the political stances of new LDP President Shinzo Abe, sharing his hawkishness on North Korea and desire to revise the postwar Constitution.
While it's true that Reagan's hawkishness almost certainly played a role in helping reformists like Gorbachev overcome more hard-line forces in the former Soviet Union, as Barbara Farnham, a senior associate of the Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University, has written, "He had been transformed from an `essentialist,' who believed that the Soviet Union was governed by an ideology that put no limits on what it could justifiably do to gain its ends of `absolute power and a communist world,' to an `interactionist,' who saw the conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States in terms of mutual misperception.
Neoconservatism has made solid and probably irreversible inroads among most politically active and influential American Jews, for whom hawkishness and resolute Zionism (regardless of party affiliation) have become the default majority positions.