See more synonyms for cock on
  1. a male chicken; rooster.
  2. the male of any bird, especially of the gallinaceous kind.
  3. Also called stopcock. a hand-operated valve or faucet, especially one opened or closed by rotating a cylindrical or tapered plug having part of the passage pierced through it from side to side.
  4. (in a firearm)
    1. the part of the lock that, by its fall or action, causes the discharge; hammer.
    2. the position into which the cock, or hammer, is brought by being drawn partly or completely back, preparatory to firing.
  5. Slang: Vulgar.
    1. penis.
    2. sexual relations with a man.
  6. a weathercock.
  7. aleader; chief person.
  8. Chiefly British Informal. pal; chum.
  9. British Slang. nonsense.
  10. Horology. a bracketlike plate holding bearings, supported at one end only.Compare bridge1(def 17).
  11. Archaic. the time of the crowing of the cock; early in the morning; cockcrow.
verb (used with object)
  1. to pull back and set the cock, or hammer, of (a firearm) preparatory to firing.
  2. to draw back in preparation for throwing or hitting: He cocked his bat and waited for the pitch.
  3. to set (a camera shutter or other mechanism) for tripping.Compare trip1(def 28).
verb (used without object)
  1. to cock the firing mechanism of a firearm.

Origin of cock

before 900; Middle English cock, Old English cocc; cognate with Old Norse kokkr; orig. imitative
Related formscock·like, adjective


verb (used with object)
  1. to set or turn up or to one side, often in an assertive, jaunty, or significant manner: He cocked his eyebrow questioningly.
verb (used without object)
  1. to stand or stick up conspicuously.
  2. Scot. and New England. to strut; swagger; put on airs of importance.
  1. the act of turning the head, a hat, etc., up or to one side in a jaunty or significant way.
  2. the position of anything thus placed.
  1. cock a snook. snook2(def 2).

Origin of cock

First recorded in 1705–15; probably special use of cock1


noun Chiefly Northern and North Midland U.S.
  1. a conical pile of hay, dung, etc.
verb (used with object)
  1. to pile (hay, dung, etc.) in cocks.

Origin of cock

1350–1400; Middle English; cognate with dialectal German Kocke heap of hay or dung, Norwegian kok heap, lump; akin to Old Norse kǫkkr lump Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for cocked

prick, dick, pecker, peter, shaft, hump, pile, stack, erect, raise, member, manhood, wood

Examples from the Web for cocked

Contemporary Examples of cocked

Historical Examples of cocked

  • The Road-Runner balanced on his slender legs and cocked his head trailwise.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • Make it so's he can wear his uniform and a cocked hat and a sword.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • At length he cocked his ears and galloped off into the pines, as another Blackbear appeared.

    Johnny Bear

    E. T. Seton

  • I'll do it if the beadle follows in his cocked hat; not else.

  • With this hurried adjuration, he cocked his blunderbuss, and stood on the offensive.

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens

British Dictionary definitions for cocked


  1. the male of the domestic fowl
    1. any other male bird
    2. the male of certain other animals, such as the lobster
    3. (as modifier)a cock sparrow
  2. short for stopcock, weathercock
  3. a taboo slang word for penis
    1. the hammer of a firearm
    2. its position when the firearm is ready to be discharged
  4. British informal a friend, mate, or fellow
  5. a jaunty or significant tilting or turning upwardsa cock of the head
  6. British informal nonsense
  1. (tr) to set the firing pin, hammer, or breech block of (a firearm) so that a pull on the trigger will release it and thus fire the weapon
  2. (tr) to set the shutter mechanism of (a camera) so that the shutter can be tripped by pressing the shutter-release button
  3. (tr sometimes foll by up) to raise in an alert or jaunty manner
  4. (intr) to stick or stand up conspicuously
See also cockup

Word Origin for cock

Old English cocc (referring to the male fowl; the development of C15 sense spout, tap, and other transferred senses is not clear), ultimately of imitative origin; related to Old Norse kokkr, French coq, Late Latin coccus


  1. a small, cone-shaped heap of hay, straw, etc
  1. (tr) to stack (hay, straw, etc) in such heaps

Word Origin for cock

C14 (in Old English, cocc is attested in place names): perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare Norwegian kok, Danish dialect kok
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 cocked



"male chicken," Old English cocc "male bird," Old French coc (12c., Modern French coq), Old Norse kokkr, all of echoic origin. Old English cocc was a nickname for "one who strutted like a cock," thus a common term in the Middle Ages for a pert boy, used of scullions, apprentices, servants, etc.

A common personal name till c.1500, it was affixed to Christian names as a pet diminutive, e.g. Wilcox, Hitchcock, etc. Slang sense of "penis" is attested since 1610s (but cf. pillicock "penis," from c.1300); cock-teaser is from 1891. A cocker spaniel (1823) was trained to start woodcocks. Cock-and-bull is first recorded 1620s, perhaps an allusion to Aesop's fables, with their incredible talking animals, or to a particular story, now forgotten. French has parallel expression coq-à-l'âne.



in various mechanical senses, such as cock of a faucet (early 15c.) is of uncertain connection with cock (n.1), but German has hahn "hen" in many of the same senses. The cock of an old matchlock firearm is 1560s, hence half-cocked "with the cock lifted to the first catch, at which position the trigger does not act" (by 1809).



mid-12c., cocken, "to fight;" 1570s, "to swagger;" seeming contradictory modern senses of "to stand up" (as in cock one's ear), c.1600, and "to bend" (1898) are from the two cock nouns. The first is probably in reference to the posture of the bird's head or tail, the second to the firearm position. To cock ones hat carries the notion of "defiant boastfulness."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with cocked


see go off half-cocked; knock into a cocked hat.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.