[ nok ]
See synonyms for nock on
  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.

  1. a notch or groove at each end of a bow, to hold the bowstring in place.

  2. Nautical. throat (def. 6a).

verb (used with object)
  1. to furnish with a nock.

  2. to adjust (the arrow) to the bowstring, in readiness to shoot.

Origin of nock

1325–75; Middle English nok(ke) (noun); akin to Dutch nok,Low German nok(ke) tip Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use nock in a sentence

  • The archers stood in groups about the decks, new-stringing their bows, and testing that they were firm at the nocks.

    The White Company | Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Each drew his string from its waterproof case and bent the huge arc of his war-bow as he fitted it into the nocks.

    Sir Nigel | Arthur Conan Doyle
  • At the tips it was curved gently backward and measured at the nocks three-quarters by one-half an inch.

  • At the nocks he surrounded the wood completely and added a circular binding about the bow.

  • Having got the bow down to rough proportions, the next thing is to cut two temporary nocks on it, very near the ends.

British Dictionary definitions for nock


/ (nɒk) /

  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

  1. to fit (an arrow) on a bowstring

  2. to put a groove or notch in (a bow or arrow)

Origin of nock

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