[hongk, hawngk]


the cry of a goose.
any similar sound, as of an automobile horn.

verb (used without object)

to emit a honk.
to cause an automobile horn to sound: He drove up in front of the house and honked.

verb (used with object)

to cause (an automobile horn) to sound: The driver honked his horn impatiently.

Origin of honk

An Americanism dating back to 1790–1800; imitative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for honking

beep, blare, sound, blast, blow, tootle

Examples from the Web for honking

Contemporary Examples of honking

Historical Examples of honking

  • Here was the poet, disturbed by the honking hustle of passing cars.

    Free Air

    Sinclair Lewis

  • Motors were flashing and honking below and over on Fifth Avenue.

    Black Oxen

    Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

  • They heard it in the honking of the first flock of wild geese.

    Johnny Longbow

    Roy J. Snell

  • Once they raced for a few miles with a honking wedge of wild geese.

    White Fire

    Roy J. Snell

  • A honking, a shout, the motor engine raced before it was shut off.

    Main Street

    Sinclair Lewis

British Dictionary definitions for honking



a representation of the sound made by a goose
any sound resembling this, esp a motor horn
British and Australian slang a bad smell


to make or cause (something) to make such a sound
(intr) British a slang word for vomit
British and Australian slang to have a bad smell
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 honking



cry of a goose, 1814, American English, imitative. As a verb by 1854, of geese; the sense of "sound a horn," especially on an automobile, first recorded 1895 in American English. Related: Honked; honking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper