• synonyms


See more synonyms for lark on Thesaurus.com
  1. a merry, carefree adventure; frolic; escapade.
  2. innocent or good-natured mischief; a prank.
  3. something extremely easy to accomplish, succeed in, or to obtain: That exam was a lark.
Show More
verb (used without object)
  1. to have fun; frolic; romp.
  2. to behave mischievously; play pranks.
  3. Fox Hunting. (of a rider) to take jumps unnecessarily: He tired his horse by larking on the way home.
Show More

Origin of lark

First recorded in 1805–15; origin uncertain
Related formslark·er, nounlark·i·ness, lark·ish·ness, nounlark·ing·ly, adverblark·ish, lark·y, adjectivelark·ish·ly, adverblark·some, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for larking

pleasant, enjoyable, festive, joyous, carefree, cheerful, jovial, chipper, merry, playful, convivial, lighthearted, cordial, amiable, buoyant, jolly, good-natured, sociable, cheery, affable

Examples from the Web for larking

Historical Examples of larking

  • There he was, larking with Miss Harris, but I took no notice of him at all. '

    Australia Revenged


  • The crew, too, had taken it in the spirit of larking––at first.

  • They understood perfectly the uncertain temper of "larking" woodsmen.

  • In the morning, however, he was up singing and larking round the house.

    Sons and Lovers

    David Herbert Lawrence

  • She and the young one have gone off larking, for wild flowers, I believe.

British Dictionary definitions for larking


  1. any brown songbird of the predominantly Old World family Alaudidae, esp the skylark: noted for their singing
  2. short for titlark, meadowlark
  3. (often capital) any of various slender but powerful fancy pigeons, such as the Coburg Lark
  4. up with the lark up early in the morning
Show More

Word Origin for lark

Old English lāwerce, lǣwerce, of Germanic origin; related to German Lerche, Icelandic lǣvirki


  1. a carefree adventure or frolic
  2. a harmless piece of mischief
  3. what a lark! how amusing!
Show More
verb (intr)
  1. (often foll by about) to have a good time by frolicking
  2. to play a prank
Show More
Derived Formslarker, nounlarkish, adjectivelarkishness, noun

Word Origin for lark

C19: originally slang, perhaps related to laik
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 larking


"fun, frolicking," 1813, from present participle of lark (v.); see lark (n.2).

Show More



"songbird," early 14c., earlier lauerche (c.1200), from Old English lawerce (late Old English laferce), from Proto-Germanic *laiw(a)rikon (cf. Old Saxon lewerka, Frisian liurk, Old Norse lævirik, Dutch leeuwerik, German Lerche), of unknown origin. Some Old English and Old Norse forms suggest a compound meaning "treason-worker," but there is no folk tale to explain or support this.

Show More



"spree, frolic," 1811, possibly shortening of skylark (1809), sailors' slang "play rough in the rigging of a ship" (larks were proverbial for high-flying), or from English dialectal lake/laik "to play" (c.1300, from Old Norse leika "to play," from PIE *leig- "to leap") with intrusive -r- common in southern British dialect. The verb lake, considered characteristic of Northern English vocabulary, is the opposite of work but lacks the other meanings of play. As a verb, from 1813. Related: Larked; larking.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with larking


In addition to the idiom beginning with lark

  • lark it up

also see:

  • happy as the day is long (as a lark)
Show More
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.