Pronunciation Noun

jess (plural jesses)

  1. (falconry) A short strap fastened around the leg of a bird used in falconry, to which a leash may be fastened.
    • 1486, Juliana Berners, The booke of hauking, huntyng and fysshyng, London, 1566,
      Haukes haue about theyr legges gesses made of lether moste comonly, some of silke which should no lenger but that the knottes of them should appere in ye myddes of the left hande betwene the longe fynger and the leche fynger bicause the lewnes should be fastened to them with a payre of tyrettes, whiche tyrettes should rest vpon the lewnes and not vpon gesses, for hangyng and fastyng vpon trees when she fleyth […]
    • 1594, Christopher Marlowe, Edward II (play),
      I am that cedar; shake me not too much;
      And you the eagles; soar ye ne’er so high,
      I have the jesses that will pull you down;
    • c. 1604, William Shakespeare, Othello, Act III, Scene 3,
      […] If I do prove her haggard,
      Though that her jesses were my dear heartstrings,
      I’ld whistle her off and let her down the wind,
      To pray at fortune.
    • 1686, Richard Blome, The Gentlemans Recreation, Part 2, Chapter 24 “Certain Terms of Art used in Falconry, with an Explanation thereof, Alphabetically set down,” p. 62,
      Jesses are the short straps of Leather that are fastned to her Legs, and so to the Lease by the Varvils.

jess (jesses, present participle jessing; past and past participle jessed)

  1. (falconry) To fasten a strap around the leg of a hawk.

jess (plural jesses)

  1. Alternative form of jet#English|jet (the mineral).
  2. Alternative form of jet#English|jet (the color).

jess (not comparable)

  1. Eye dialect spelling of just#English|just.

Pronunciation Proper noun
  1. A male given name.
  2. A female given name.

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