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hark

[hahrk]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to listen attentively; hearken.
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verb (used with object)
  1. Archaic. to listen to; hear.
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noun
  1. a hunter's shout to hounds, as to encourage them in following the scent.
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Verb Phrases
  1. 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.
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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 formsun·harked, adjective

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

remindreactdegenerateregressrememberrecallreviewmindreviverecollectretainbethinkciteretrospectretrogressdeclinereturnrelapserecurresume

British Dictionary definitions for hark back

hark back

verb
  1. (intr, adverb) to return to an earlier subject, point, or position, as in speech or thought
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hark

verb
  1. (intr; usually imperative) to listen; pay attention
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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

Word Origin and History for hark back

hark

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hark back

hark back

Return to a previous point, as in Let us hark back briefly to my first statement. This expression originally alluded to hounds retracing their course when they have lost their quarry's scent. It may be dying out. [First half of 1800s]

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