• synonyms


[hahr-kuh n]
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verb (used with or without object)
  1. hearken.
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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.
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verb (used with object)
  1. Archaic. to listen to; hear.
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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

Related Words for harkening

attend, get, accept, admit, observe, audit, welcome, hark, obey, eavesdrop, receive, adopt, mind, concentrate, hearken, catch, entertain, monitor, overhear, harken

Examples from the Web for harkening

Historical Examples of harkening

  • In the intervals of harkening to my growing-pains I was, of course, still a little girl.

    The Promised Land

    Mary Antin

  • Mrs. Jervis who had been without, harkening, now came to me.

  • Harkening to it instead of knocking the man down, that was the worst of it.

  • And harkening to the Inner Voice is simply doing what you want to do.

  • This it was positively asserted might be heard by putting the ear to the ground and harkening attentively.

British Dictionary definitions for harkening


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


sometimes US harken

  1. archaic to listen to (something)
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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.

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper