- a skein, as of thread or yarn.
- a definite length of thread or yarn: A hank of cotton yarn measures 840 yards.
- a coil, knot, or loop: a hank of hair.
- Nautical. a ring, link, or shackle for securing the luff of a staysail or jib to its stay or the luff or head of a gaff sail to the mast or gaff.
- Nautical. to fasten (a sail) by means of hanks.
Origin of hank
1175–1225; Middle English < Old Norse hǫnk hank, coil, skein, clasp; akin to hang
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for hanked
He cast better, he hanked oftener, and he disentangled more easily than he had done at an earlier period of the day.Freaks on the Fells
Hannah Worth walked home, laden like a beast of burden, with an enormous bag of hanked yarn on her back.Ishmael
Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth
Once already the old gentleman had hanked on the bank a little lower down, but so slightly that a twitch brought the flies away.The Eagle Cliff
- a loop, coil, or skein, as of rope, wool, or yarn
- nautical a ringlike fitting that can be opened to admit a stay for attaching the luff of a sail
- a unit of measurement of cloth, yarn, etc, such as a length of 840 yards (767 m) of cotton or 560 yards (512 m) of worsted yarn
- (tr) nautical to attach (a sail) to a stay by hanks
C13: of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse hanka to coil, Swedish hank string
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
Word Origin and History for hanked
late 13c., probably from a Scandinavian source, e.g. Old Norse honk, hank "clasp, hank," related to hang (v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper