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[kahr-king] /ˈkɑr kɪŋ/
adjective, Archaic.
Origin of carking
1300-50 (for gerund); 1555-65 (for current sense); Middle English; see cark, -ing2


[kahrk] /kɑrk/ Archaic.
care or worry.
verb (used with or without object)
to worry.
1250-1300; Middle English carken to be anxious, Old English becarcian, apparently derivative of car- (base of caru care) + -k suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for carking
Historical Examples
  • Memory worked with it—the carking memory of a failure of courage.

    Double Harness Anthony Hope
  • He was sensible of a dull, carking shame, and yet was shameless.

    The Destroying Angel Louis Joseph Vance
  • In truth, it was so; heavy with the weariness caused by carking care.

    Verner's Pride Mrs. Henry Wood
  • Doubt—indefinite, carking doubt had taken possession of her.

    Desperate Remedies Thomas Hardy
  • I reckon you are now preparing for your Wexford expedition; and poor Dingley is full of carking and caring, scolding.

    The Journal to Stella Jonathan Swift
  • To stroll from one's hotel to the famous promenade on a bright morning is to snap one's fingers at carking care.

    In Vanity Fair Eleanor Hoyt Brainerd
  • And again Kirkwood sought Stryker, his carking query ready on his lips.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • He had never dared to voice the carking fear that tightened about his heart at times.

    Carmen Ariza Charles Francis Stocking
  • We meet only an embarrassment of choice when we start to unstring the chaplet of our carking cares.

    The Simple Life Charles Wagner
  • A carking connoisseur is abusing some effort of an unhappy artist to portray nature.

British Dictionary definitions for carking


noun, verb
an archaic word for worry (sense 1), worry (sense 2), worry (sense 11), worry (sense 13)
Word Origin
C13 carken to burden, from Old Northern French carquier, from Late Latin carricāre to load


(intransitive) (Austral, slang) to break down; die
Word Origin
perhaps from the cry of the crow, as a carrion feeding bird
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for carking



"to be weighed down or oppresssed by cares or worries, be concerned about," early 12c., a figurative use, via Anglo-French from Old North French carkier "to load, burden," from Late Latin carcare (see charge (v.)). Cf. Old North French carguer "charger," corresponding to Old French chargier. The literal sense in English, "to load, put a burden on," is from c.1300. Related: Carked; carking. Also as a noun in Middle English and after, "charge, responsibility; anxiety, worry; burden on the mind or spirit," (c.1300), from Anglo-French karke, from Old North French form of Old French carche, variant of charge "load, burden, imposition."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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