or hark·en

[hahr-kuh n]

verb (used without object)

Literary. to give heed or attention to what is said; listen.

verb (used with object)

Archaic. to listen to; hear.

Nearby words

  1. hearing dog,
  2. hearing impairment,
  3. hearing loss,
  4. hearing-ear dog,
  5. hearing-impaired,
  6. hearkening,
  7. hearn,
  8. hearn, lafcadio,
  9. hearsay,
  10. hearsay evidence

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for hearkened

British Dictionary definitions for hearkened


sometimes US harken


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 hearkened



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