[hahr-kuh n]
Related formshark·en·er, noun


or hark·en

[hahr-kuh n]
verb (used without object)
  1. Literary. to give heed or attention to what is said; listen.
verb (used with object)
  1. Archaic. to listen to; hear.

Origin of hearken

1150–1200; Middle English hercnen, Old English he(o)rcnian, suffixed form of assumed *heorcian; see hark, -en1
Related formsheark·en·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for harkening

Historical Examples of harkening

British Dictionary definitions for harkening


  1. a variant spelling (esp US) of hearken
Derived Formsharkener, noun


sometimes US harken

  1. archaic to listen to (something)
Derived Formshearkener, noun

Word Origin for hearken

Old English heorcnian; see hark
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 harkening


variant of hearken.



Old English heorcnian, a suffixed form of *heorcian, root of hark; from Proto-Germanic *hausjan (see hear). Harken is the usual spelling in U.S. and probably is better justified by etymology; hearken likely is from influence of hear.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper