• synonyms


  1. a metal or plastic piece at the end of an arrow, having a notch for the bowstring.
  2. a notch or groove at the end of an arrow into which the bowstring fits.
  3. a notch or groove at each end of a bow, to hold the bowstring in place.
  4. Nautical. throat(def 6a).
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. to furnish with a nock.
  2. to adjust (the arrow) to the bowstring, in readiness to shoot.
Show More

Origin of nock

1325–75; Middle English nok(ke) (noun); akin to Dutch nok, Low German nok(ke) tip
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nocked

Historical Examples

  • When the arrow is nocked it should be at right angles with the string.

    Archery Rules

    Charles F. A. Hinrichs

  • He gripped his bow, nocked an arrow, then sat there breathless, waiting.

    The Rope of Gold

    Roy J. Snell

  • One he nocked loosely in his bow, then laid the bow where he could grasp it instantly.

    The Story of Geronimo

    James Arthur Kjelgaard

  • Wen I nocked at Marias dore, I stepped down off the steps and wated for her appairanse.

    The Bad Boy At Home

    Walter T. Gray

  • That night we was too many for the crew of the brig, as nocked under and us made them steer for France, so here we be.

British Dictionary definitions for nocked


  1. a notch on an arrow that fits on the bowstring
  2. either of the grooves at each end of a bow that hold the bowstring
Show More
verb (tr)
  1. to fit (an arrow) on a bowstring
  2. to put a groove or notch in (a bow or arrow)
Show More

Word Origin

C14: related to Swedish nock tip
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 nocked



"fit (an arrow) to a bowstring," 1510s, from nock (n.). Related: Nocked; nocking.

Show More



"notch on a bow," late 14c., of uncertain origin, probably from a Scandinavian source (cf. Swedish nock "notch"), but cf. also Low German nokk, Dutch nok "tip of a sail." Perhaps connected to nook.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper