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  1. the joint in the hind leg of a horse, cow, etc., above the fetlock joint, corresponding anatomically to the ankle in humans.
  2. a corresponding joint in a fowl.
verb (used with object)
  1. to hamstring.

Origin of hock1

1375–1425; variant of dial. hough, Middle English ho(u)gh, apparently back formation from late Middle English hokschyn, etc., Old English hōhsinu hock (literally, heel) sinew; see heel1


verb (used with object)
  1. pawn1.
  1. the state of being deposited or held as security; pawn: She was forced to put her good jewelry in hock.
  2. the condition of owing; debt: After the loan was paid, he was finally out of hock.

Origin of hock3

1855–60, Americanism; < Dutch hok kennel, sty, pen, (informal) miserable place to live, prison
Related formshock·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hocked

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I took her to a boarding-house on Thirty-second Street where I used to live, and hocked her.


    O. Henry

  • His young mistress heard em say he was going to be free and she walked up and hocked and spit in his face.

  • I've hocked ev'ryt'ing dat would bring in a dollar, an' dis is de las' t'ing I've got.

    Bowery Life

    Chuck Connors

British Dictionary definitions for hocked


  1. the joint at the tarsus of a horse or similar animal, pointing backwards and corresponding to the human ankle
  2. the corresponding joint in domestic fowl
  1. another word for hamstring

Word Origin

C16: short for hockshin, from Old English hōhsinu heel sinew


  1. any of several white wines from the German Rhine
  2. (not in technical usage) any dry white wine

Word Origin

C17: short for obsolete hockamore Hochheimer


  1. (tr) to pawn or pledge
  1. the state of being in pawn (esp in the phrase in hock)
  2. in hock
    1. in prison
    2. in debt
    3. in pawn
Derived Formshocker, noun

Word Origin

C19: from Dutch hok prison, debt
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 hocked



"joint in the hind leg of a horse," mid-15c., earlier hockshin (late 14c.), from Old English hohsinu "sinew of the heel, Achilles' tendon," literally "heel sinew," from hoh "heel," from Proto-Germanic *hanhaz (cf. German Hachse "hock," Old English hæla "heel"), from PIE *kenk- (3) "heel, bend of the knee."



"Rhenish wine," 1620s, shortening of Hockamore, from German Hochheimer, "(wine) of Hochheim," town on the Main where wine was made; sense extended to German white wines in general.



"pawn, debt," 1859, American English, in hock, which meant both "in debt" and "in prison," from Dutch hok "jail, pen, doghouse, hutch, hovel." The verb is 1878, from the noun.

When one gambler is caught by another, smarter than himself, and is beat, then he is in hock. Men are only caught, or put in hock, on the race-tracks, or on the steamboats down South. ... Among thieves a man is in hock when he is in prison. [G.W. Matsell, "Vocabulum," 1859]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper