• synonyms


verb (used without object)
  1. to listen attentively; hearken.
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. Archaic. to listen to; hear.
Show More
  1. a hunter's shout to hounds, as to encourage them in following the scent.
Show More
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.
Show More

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

Synonyms for hark

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

Related Words for harks


Examples from the Web for harks

Historical Examples of harks

  • I suppose there is something in all of us that harks back to the soil.

    Tish, The Chronicle of Her Escapades and Excursions

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • This is almost a lost art, and harks back to the pre-string days.

    The New North

    Agnes Deans Cameron

  • True, he harks back to Theophrastus in matters of style and technique.

  • After a pause recurs the phrase that harks from mediaeval romance, now in a stirring ascent of close chasing voices.

  • His mind, distraught with business cares, harks back to his home—with pleasure?

British Dictionary definitions for harks


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

Word Origin for hark

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 harks



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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper