- to prod or push, especially with something narrow or pointed, as a finger, elbow, stick, etc.: to poke someone in the ribs.
- to make (a hole, one's way, etc.) by or as by prodding or pushing.
- to thrust or push: She poked her head out of the window.
- to force, drive, or stir by or as by pushing or thrusting: He poked the fire up.
- to thrust obtrusively: The prosecutor kept poking his finger at the defendant.
- to make a pushing or thrusting movement with the finger, a stick, etc.
- to extend or project (often followed by out): His handkerchief is poking out of his back pocket.
- to thrust oneself obtrusively: to poke into something that is not one's affair.
- to search curiously; pry (often followed by around or about).
- to go or proceed in a slow or aimless way (often followed by along).
- a thrust or push.
- Informal. a slow or dawdling person; slowpoke.
- poke fun at, to ridicule or mock, especially covertly or slyly: In her novel, she pokes fun at her ex-husband.
- poke one's nose into, Informal. to meddle in; pry into: We felt as if half the people in town were poking their noses into our lives.
Origin of poke1
Related Words for pokingnudge, shove, dig, punch, stab, stick, protrude, prod, jab, peek, pry, drag, shoulder, project, awaken, rouse, hit, crowd, bulge, arouse
Examples from the Web for poking
Contemporary Examples of poking
But, as the people of Irving are now discovering, all of this poking and prodding is not without potential consequences.26 Earthquakes Later, Fracking’s Smoking Gun Is in Texas
January 7, 2015
Poking out of the shiny gold pages is a “distinctive silk marker”—also gold—which “complements the color of the leather.”Rand Paul’s Many Leather-Bound Books
November 27, 2014
“Hold on,” he said, staring at his smartphone and poking at its screen.Inside Uber’s Political War Machine
June 30, 2014
Poking through this crunchy-sweet vegetable mound is edible ecstasy.Become a Fried Seafood Believer at South Beach Market
Jane & Michael Stern
April 20, 2014
At first he didn't get the joke, but then he was slapping his thigh, poking his finger at his photographer.The Man Who Photographed the 20th Century’s Greatest Icons
December 16, 2013
Historical Examples of poking
Sidney considered, poking a slim finger into the little holes in the box.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
"The dead are restless tonight," said Simba, poking the fire.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
What if Neill Sheridan, poking about alone with a candle, could see through that veil?It Happened in Egypt
C. N. Williamson
Great humble-bees haunted the walls, and were poking about in them constantly.Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood
Alexander moved about restlessly and fell to poking the fire.Alexander's Bridge and The Barrel Organ
Willa Cather and Alfred Noyes
- (tr) to jab or prod, as with the elbow, the finger, a stick, etc
- (tr) to make (a hole, opening, etc) by or as by poking
- (when intr, often foll by at) to thrust (at)
- (tr) informal to hit with the fist; punch
- (usually foll by in, out, out of, through, etc) to protrude or cause to protrudedon't poke your arm out of the window
- (tr) to stir (a fire, pot, etc) by poking
- (intr) to meddle or intrude
- (intr; often foll by about or around) to search or pry
- (intr often foll by along) to loiter, potter, dawdle, etc
- (tr) slang (of a man) to have sexual intercourse with
- poke fun at to mock or ridicule
- poke one's nose into See nose (def. 17)
- a jab or prod
- short for slowpoke
- informal a blow with one's fist; punch
- slang sexual intercourse
Word Origin for poke
- dialect a pocket or bag
- a pig in a poke See pig (def. 9)
Word Origin for poke
- Also called: poke bonnet a woman's bonnet with a brim that projects at the front, popular in the 18th and 19th centuries
- the brim itself
Word Origin for poke
- short for pokeweed
"to push, prod, thrust," especially with something pointed, c.1300, puken "to poke, nudge," of uncertain origin, perhaps from or related to Middle Dutch poken "to poke" (Dutch beuken), or Middle Low German poken "to stick with a knife" (cf. German pochen "to knock, rap"), both from Proto-Germanic root *puk-, perhaps imitative. Related: Poked; poking. To poke fun "tease" first attested 1840; to poke around "search" is from 1809. To poke along "advance lazily; walk at a leisurely pace" is from 1833.
"small sack," early 13c., probably from Old North French poque (12c., Old French poche) "purse, poke, purse-net," probably from a Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *puk- (cf. Old English pohha, pocca "bag, pocket," Middle Dutch poke, Old Norse poki "bag, pouch, pocket," dialectal German Pfoch), from PIE root *beu-, an imitative root associated with words for "to swell" (see bull (n.2)).
"pokeweed; a weed used in medicine and dyeing," colonial American, from native words, possibly a confusion of similar-sounding Native American plant names; from 1630s in English as "tobacco plant," short for uppowoc (1580s), from Algonquian (Virginia) *uppowoc. Later (1708) the word is used in the sense "pokeweed," as a shortened form of puccoon, from Algonquian (Virginia) *puccoon, name of a plant used for dyeing." Native roots for "smoke" and "stain" have been proposed as the origin or origins.
"an act of poking," 1796, originally pugilistic slang, from poke (v.). Also (1809) the name of a device, like a yoke with a pole, attached to domestic animals such as pigs and sheep to keep them from escaping enclosures. Hence slowpoke, and cf. pokey. Slang sense "act of sexual intercourse" is attested from 1902.
In addition to the idioms beginning with poke
- poke around
- poke fun at
- poke one's nose into
- make fun of (poke fun at)
- pig in a poke
- take a poke at