A short leather strap that is fastened round 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.’
Put jesses on (a hawk).
Middle English from Old French ges, based on Latin jactus ‘a throw’, from jacere ‘to throw’.