ter·cel (tûrsəl) also tier·cel (tîrsəl)
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 the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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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.