or hark·en

[ hahr-kuhn ]
See synonyms for: hearkenhearkening on Thesaurus.com

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

Other words from hearken

  • heark·en·er, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use hearken in a sentence

  • "Hearkening and obedience," replied the smith and falling to work on them, speedily despatched them for him.

  • "Hearkening and obedience," replied the other and going before him, guided him to Alaeddin's palace.

  • Meanwhile, Ben sweeps on like the wind, hearkening even in his haste for the welcome "thwack, thwack" of his father's axe.

  • And yet—and yet, hearkening, I caught the same unsteady note that had made me curious of him often and often before.

  • A rank odor of earth filled it; and I never passed that way without hearkening for the insect-like song of the rattlesnake.

    Lazarre | Mary Hartwell Catherwood

British Dictionary definitions for hearken


sometimes US harken

/ (ˈhɑːkən) /

  1. archaic to listen to (something)

Origin of hearken

Old English heorcnian; see hark

Derived forms of hearken

  • hearkener, noun

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