• synonyms


  1. care or worry.
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verb (used with or without object)
  1. to worry.
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Origin of cark

1250–1300; Middle English carken to be anxious, Old English becarcian, apparently derivative of car- (base of caru care) + -k suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cark

Historical Examples of cark

  • The old, old earth is glad to turn from the cark and care of driftless centuries to the first sweet blades of green.

    The Hills and the Vale

    Richard Jefferies

  • Cark Hall, an old gabled manor house, for generations the residence of the Curwens and the Rawlinsons.

  • He had had much in his life to cark and harrow, and the old sympathy and tenderness vibrated aloud, and little out of tune.

  • The old, old earth is glad to turn from the cark and care of drifted centuries to the first sweet blades of green.

    The Open Air

    Richard Jefferies

  • The nervous, excitable temper has helped the fret and cark of ambitious life.

    The Caxtons, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

British Dictionary definitions for cark


noun, verb
  1. an archaic word for worry (def. 1), worry (def. 2), worry (def. 11), worry (def. 13)
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Word Origin for cark

C13 carken to burden, from Old Northern French carquier, from Late Latin carricāre to load


  1. (intr) Australian slang to break down; die
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Word Origin for cark

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

Word Origin and History for cark


"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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper