A short strap fastened around the leg of a hawk or other bird used in falconry, to which a leash may be fastened.
tr.v. jessed, jess·ing, jess·es
To put jesses or a jess on (a hawk, for example).
[Middle English ges, from Old French, pl. of jet, something thrown, from Vulgar Latin *iectus, alteration of Latin iactus, past participle of iacere, to throw; see yē- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.