A short leather strap that is fastened around each leg of a hawk, usually also having a ring or swivel to which a leash may be attached.
- ‘It has leather jesses on its legs, which are used by falconers and people who take the birds out to hunt.’
- ‘Birds were tethered by jesses to Astroturf-covered perches.’
- ‘She rarely dreamed, but she did that night, fretful visions of tight-held jesses and the clipping of wings.’
- ‘He needs no jesses, as he will not accept it and does not need training.’
- ‘Ajan is away almost before I have opened my hand to free her jesses from my fingers.’
transitive verb[with object]Falconry
Put jesses on (a hawk).
Middle English from Old French ges, based on Latin jactus ‘a throw’, from jacere ‘to throw’.