• synonyms


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 hearkened

hark, attend, eavesdrop, get, read, give, strain, apprehend, devour, take, descry, catch, heed, listen, overhear, auscultate

Examples from the Web for hearkened

Historical Examples of hearkened

  • With my back to them and my ear to the door I hearkened outward.

    The Cavalier

    George Washington Cable

  • I have hearkened to your words, and marked well your counsels.

  • Latisan, lingering on the porch, had hearkened and observed.

  • But he was not frightened, for he had not yet learned how to be; so he sat up and hearkened.

  • It was apparent that he had more to say; and all there hearkened to hear what it might be.

    From Place to Place

    Irvin S. Cobb

British Dictionary definitions for hearkened


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 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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper