Definition of Chicken Hawk

What is a “chicken hawk”? What does the term “chicken hawk” mean?

In order to understand what the term “chicken hawk” (or chickenhawk) means, let’s first break down the meaning of “chicken” and “hawk”.

A “chicken” is somebody who is afraid, and a “hawk” is a person who strongly supports his country engaging in wars and flexing their military might.

Definition of Chicken Hawk - Finance and Politics DictionaryA “chicken hawk”, as it is used in US politics, refers to somebody who strongly supports the United States engaging in conflicts abroad (Iraq, Afghanistan, etc) but actively tried to avoid being sent off to war themselves when they were younger.

For instance - let’s say that a politician is strongly in favor of the United States going to war with Iran. Let’s say that this politician also used their connections when they were younger to avoid being shipped off to the Vietnam War.

This would be the very definition of a “chicken hawk”, or this politician was afraid to go off and fight in the Vietnam War, but they are now in favor of a potentially costly (in terms of money and lives) war with Iran.

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