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90s Slang You Should Know


[hahrk] /hɑrk/
verb (used without object)
to listen attentively; hearken.
verb (used with object)
Archaic. to listen to; hear.
a hunter's shout to hounds, as to encourage them in following the scent.
Verb phrases
hark back,
  1. (of hounds) to return along the course in order to regain a lost scent.
  2. to return to a previous subject or point; revert:
    He kept harking back to his early days in vaudeville.
Origin of hark
1175-1225; Middle English herken, earlier herkien, Old English *heorcian; cognate with Old Frisian herkia, harkia; akin to Middle Dutch harken, Middle High German, German horchen. See hearken, hear
Related forms
unharked, adjective
4b. refer, allude; regress, retrogress. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hark
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • hark you, Adela, I begin to sicken of the plan we have laid.

    The Surgeon's Daughter Sir Walter Scott
  • The guard-sergeant had just asked himself the question, when, hark!

    The Free Lances Mayne Reid
  • She sang ‘hark, hark, the lark,’ and the whole house rose to its feet.

  • Easily,” said Bracy; “but we have as much as we can carry now, and— hark!

    Fix Bay'nets George Manville Fenn
  • hark, was that a coaching horn, sounding up from Wildwood Road?

    Days Off Henry Van Dyke
  • But the Prophet he hollers back, ‘hark how the heathen rage!’

    A Young Man in a Hurry Robert W. Chambers
  • Only don't'ee let it go for more drink'; and, hark'ee, remember it's no bribery money o' Mr. Trenchard's, its mine.

    Agatha's Husband Dinah Maria Craik (AKA: Dinah Maria Mulock)
  • You hark back to the different construction we put on her appearance that evening?

    Embarrassments Henry James
British Dictionary definitions for hark


(intransitive; usually imperative) to listen; pay attention
Word Origin
Old English heorcnian to hearken; related to Old Frisian herkia, Old High German hōrechen; see hear
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 hark

late 12c., from Old English *heorcian, perhaps an intensive form from base of hieran (see hear). Cf. talk/tale. Cognate with Old Frisian harkia "listen," Middle Dutch horken, Old High German horechon, German horchen. To hark back (1829) originally referred to hounds returning along a track when the scent has been lost, till they find it again. Related: Harked; harking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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