Main definitions of cock in English

: cock1cock2

cock1

noun

  • 1British A male bird, especially of a domestic fowl.

    • ‘It also means the balance is wrong with too many cocks fighting over an ever decreasing pool of hens.’
    • ‘Display flights between rival cocks occupy much of the birds' time on the breeding grounds.’
    • ‘During that time the cock is allowed to look at another hen.’
    • ‘Male fighting gouramies are extremely belligerent toward each other and they are often bred to fight, as with the fighting cocks.’
    • ‘The government approved a program to vaccinate free-range chickens, ducks, fighting cocks and tropical birds in a bid to fight off bird flu.’
    • ‘A ‘moth-type’ display when the cock makes short fluttering flights above the hen has been described.’
    • ‘Pheasants are handsome birds, especially the cocks, which are larger than the hens.’
    • ‘Here, however, the contenders were not humans but birds: ordinary village cocks chosen for their natural belligerence.’
    • ‘Ancient scholars thought whenever a woman occupied such a position it would lead inevitably to disaster, as if a hen instead of a cock were to crow in the morning.’
    • ‘The cock was always conspicuous on any walk one took into the fens, with black cap and bib and white collar, flying up on to a sallow bush, uttering a wheezy jingle of alarm notes.’
    • ‘The cocks really were the most beautiful birds.’
    • ‘Every little lane among which I live had its hedgerow yellowhammers, the cocks perched on high on their songposts, on bushes or the telegraph wires.’
    • ‘This long-tailed cock was pale in color and beautiful in flight.’
    • ‘The crimson or brick-red parrot-like cocks may sing and chatter all moving like mice through branch and foliage.’
    • ‘Apparently hens don't lay well in the presence of cocks, and won't incubate their own eggs.’
    • ‘Thoreau talks a little about how he misses the cock crowing, along with other domestic sounds.’
    • ‘We always awoke to the sound of a cock crowing or a bird chirping and when we looked outside, we saw nature in all of her morning glory!’
    • ‘Almost every household owns at least one cock raised for fighting.’
    • ‘A fully-trained battle cock can be sold for more than $450 U.S. dollars, which equals a small fortune in the Philippines.’
    • ‘Most of them had just hatched when I got here and in the last 5 weeks they're becoming small hens and cocks.’
    rooster, cockerel, male fowl, capon
    chanticleer
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[in combination]Used in names of birds, especially game birds, e.g. watercock.
    2. 1.2A male lobster, crab, or salmon.
      ‘the biggest salmon I ever had was a 45 lb cock’
      • ‘And a gigantic cock salmon of around 44 lb was also landed in November during hatchery broodstock collection.’
    3. 1.3informal A friendly form of address among men.
      ‘please yourself, cock’
      • ‘Don't give her that ring, young cock!’
      • ‘Don't go round that corner on your special pedalcar, young cock!’
  • 2vulgar slang A man's penis.

  • 3British informal [mass noun] Nonsense.

    ‘that's all a lot of cock’
    • ‘I'm not even going to bother to retaliate against this, because I know that he's just talking cock.’
    • ‘That's the way to make your staff feel valued - take away the tiniest benefit and justify it with what is obviously a load of cock and bull.’
    • ‘I've probably been biased by the show's being such absolute cock.’
    • ‘Every single justification that is being given for destroying civil liberties is cock.’
    • ‘It should surprise you not at all that this is cock.’
  • 4A firing lever in a gun which can be raised to be released by the trigger.

  • 5A stopcock.

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Tilt (something) in a particular direction.

    ‘she cocked her head slightly to one side’
    • ‘He frowned slightly and cocked his head as he looked at her.’
    • ‘She smiled a very pleasant smile, cocking her head slightly.’
    • ‘She replied stubbornly and cocked her chin slightly in defiance.’
    • ‘A raven pecks at the dying salmon, then cocks its head and looks at us.’
    • ‘His head was cocked slightly to the right, and he was seeing her through squinted eyes.’
    • ‘Jem cocks his head, casting a suspicious gaze in his direction.’
    • ‘The black-haired girl cocked her head and leaned forward a bit over the table.’
    • ‘Andrew's brow furrows, and he cocks his head slightly.’
    • ‘She jolted slightly in alarm, before leaning back and, cocking her chin to the side, surveyed him in perplexity.’
    • ‘‘You must be the mistress,’ he said quietly, cocking one arched eyebrow.’
    • ‘She cocked one slick eyebrow at us with a small, tight smile.’
    • ‘He cocks his head slightly at me, the corner of his lips curving upward.’
    • ‘‘You look like your mother,’ she said, cocking her head slightly.’
    • ‘Alyssa cocked her head sideways slightly referring to the glances they were getting.’
    • ‘As I look on, the first guy in the group, short and thin with a shaven head, comes to a stop, and he cocks his head sharply in my direction.’
    • ‘He cocked up a questioning eyebrow as he bent down lower to assess the noise.’
    • ‘She cocks her jaw, tilts her head, and taps a fisted hand on the chair's arm.’
    • ‘Micah asked the question, relaxing back in his seat and cocking his head in my direction.’
    • ‘Cash raises her eyebrows and cocks her head at me.’
    • ‘The cat cocked its head slightly to the left, as though assessing the fairness of his words.’
    tilt, tip, angle, lean, slope, bank, slant, incline, pitch, dip, cant, bevel, camber, heel, careen, put at an angle
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Bend a (limb or joint) at an angle.
      ‘Madge threw herself into the armchair and cocked her legs over the side’
      • ‘And there he was, long tail cocked, hooded with black, decorated with patches of deep and brilliant blue.’
      • ‘It was streaming blood and cocked at an angle that told everyone watching it was broken.’
      • ‘These hopes were soon dashed as he cocked one ham-sized fist back, paused and then unloaded into my right shoulder.’
      • ‘It took a superbly timed and perfectly executed tackle from Smith to deny Darby, who, leg cocked, looked ready to score from six yards.’
      • ‘We have also seen her with her hand cocked on her hips and her pelvis thrust forward and have both wondered if she's not really a midget.’
      • ‘A soldier wheeled around the corner, arm cocked with a grenade.’
      • ‘Her wings are cocked in a funny angle as if they were broken recently.’
      • ‘As she launched herself forward with one arm cocked back as a feint, he threw a forceful punch releasing a wave of concussive force.’
      • ‘She stood with hip cocked and hands crossed over her chest.’
      • ‘She hobbles out of the curtain with a murderous look on her face and her fist cocked and ready to throw another punch.’
      • ‘We now had each other in mutual strangle holds, right arms cocked to punch at full force.’
      • ‘She lay sprawled on the ground below, one leg cocked beneath her at a grotesque angle.’
      • ‘In another photo, he is clenching a fist and has his arm cocked as if preparing to punch a hooded prisoner.’
      • ‘The forelimbs are to the left, and are cocked back, elbows high, with the forepaws tucked under the chest.’
      • ‘He bowed before the black sapphire throne on which his master sprawled, his one leg cocked over the armrest, totally relaxed.’
      • ‘In two steps, she was upon it, springing onto its back, hand cocked to deliver a blow to the back of its skull.’
      • ‘He then glared at Jake and growled, then charged him, his fist cocked back.’
      • ‘He found himself standing before his unyielding foe, fist cocked, and suddenly shook his head.’
      • ‘A straight extension of your arms, not cocked up or angled down, can cause strain and pain.’
      • ‘A sea of hands goes up: the men point their index fingers and cock their thumbs, waving imaginary guns over their heads.’
    2. 1.2(of a male dog) lift (a back leg) in order to urinate.
      ‘a greyhound cocked its leg against the tree’
      • ‘One piece featured a dog cocking his leg against an orange tree.’
      • ‘As usual, one charming little dog cocked its leg on my tackle bag.’
      • ‘Junior turned around as the dog was cocking his leg.’
      • ‘Council bosses are spending £75,000 to discover the effects of dogs cocking their legs against lamp posts.’
      • ‘His unluckiest dog cocked his leg at a lamp post - and was electrocuted.’
      • ‘Postal workers are so fed up with dogs cocking their legs on the town's main postbox that the Royal Mail is threatening to remove it.’
  • 2Raise the cock of (a gun) in order to make it ready for firing.

    ‘he took the loaded pistol from his belt and cocked it’
    • ‘Grinning, Vincent raised his eyebrow, cocking the revolver.’
    • ‘When you're loading to shoot immediately you can simply position the empty chamber under the firing pin and cock the gun in a normal manner.’
    • ‘As quietly as he could he headed up the stairs, revolver cocked and ready in his hand.’
    • ‘The sound of fifty plus guns being cocked ready to fire echoed throughout the enclosed hangar.’
    • ‘All around, weapons were readied, pistols were drawn, and rifles were cocked.’
    • ‘The hammer must now be cocked or lowered by hand with a single action pistol, and that gets dangerous.’
    • ‘Two goons cocked their guns ready to fire at me, still kneeling on the ground, when he lifted a finger.’
    • ‘Chris was just standing up from his seat in front of the computer, cocking a machine gun and inspecting it closely.’
    • ‘I pointed the pistol at the shooter, but the gun wasn't cocked.’
    • ‘At some stage you cocked that gun so that it was ready to fire.’
    • ‘‘We don't make deals with the enemy,’ he snarled cocking the gun making it ready to fire.’
    • ‘The young man spun around, only to face a large group of mounted police, their pistols cocked and ready.’
    • ‘He picked up the fool's gun and cocked it in the direction of the children.’
    • ‘She cocked the hand gun and scurried downstairs.’
    • ‘Soldiers, with guns cocked and ready, check your ID and query the purpose of your visit.’
    • ‘He stepped into view and the sound of his gun being cocked brought the guards around suddenly, rifles ready.’
    • ‘He cocked it and aimed directly at Vincent, who was caught in his own battle with Greg.’
    • ‘The kitchen door flew open, and one of the men backed into the hall, his gun cocked and ready.’
    • ‘When the lever is on ‘safe,’ the hammer cannot be cocked by the trigger, by hand, or by pulling back the slide.’
    • ‘With a 1911, the gun can be cocked and ready to fire with the safety on, so again there is no problem.’
  • 3British informal Ruin something as a result of incompetence or inefficiency.

    ‘the party cocked up the Euro-elections’
    • ‘There is no one denying that the press can cock up occasionally, but there are countless errors of careless, and sometimes deceiving information.’
    • ‘Hopefully I won't cock it up and make my life a misery by dealing with it in the wrong way.’
    • ‘Each time I checked only to find I'd cocked it up.’
    • ‘If he cocks it up, he should have the grace to accept responsibility.’
    • ‘I cocked everything up right at the last minute.’
    • ‘Now I'm making sure that I haven't totally cocked it up in the process!’
    • ‘I think, if they don't cock it up, the sequel could be even more interesting.’
    • ‘I have always prided myself in apologising if I cock things up.’
    • ‘The last thing a private detective wants to be doing is trampling all over the evidence and cocking it up.’
    • ‘‘I am the first to hold my hands up if I cock up and I know there are areas where I can improve,’ he said.’

Phrases

  • at full cock

    • (of a gun) with the cock lifted to the position at which the trigger will act.

      ‘he wore a leather holster, the automatic slung at full cock butt-forward’
      • ‘In most of its usage, that term denotes a part that holds the hammer at full cock until the trigger moves it to the release point.’
      • ‘The hammer should be returned to the half-cock safety position when the action is closed rather than leaving it at full cock.’
      • ‘You can fire one barrel with the other at full cock without fear of accidentally firing the other barrel.’
      • ‘He was making a vigilant circumspection of the forest, his shotgun held in both hands and at full cock, his finger upon the trigger.’
      • ‘He and others carried their guns with a cartridge chambered, hammer at full cock and thumb safety engaged.’
  • cock one's ear

    • 1(of a dog) raise its ears to an erect position.

      ‘the animal responded to the noise by cocking its ears’
      • ‘He cocked his ears and tilted his head to study the other with cold eyes.’
      • ‘He tilted his head and cocked his foxlike ears at an angle that mirrored the devilish sparkle in his brown eyes.’
      1. 1.1(of a person) listen attentively to or for something.
        ‘she held up a finger for silence, cocking an ear to the background music’
        • ‘There, he said, cocking his ear, don't you hear someone calling you?’
        • ‘Because of the confidential tone that my voice had taken, every ear in the room was cocked in our direction.’
        • ‘Every so often, if you tilt your head, cock your ear, and concentrate, you'll be able to hear the low rumble of political organisation coming out of the otherwise-ordinary environment that surrounds you.’
        • ‘He struck his six-iron well enough and cocked his ear to pick up the hum of appreciation at the other end.’
        • ‘Wesley heard a sound and cocked his ear in the direction.’
        • ‘Aaron cocked his ear to one side as he usually did when trying to hear something and said, ‘Sounds like the shed door.’’
        • ‘She suddenly stopped speaking, and cocked her ear to listen to something.’
        • ‘She hefted the large mass of weaponry with great difficulty, and then cocked her ear.’
        • ‘Jennifer breathed, cocking her ear to the sound of the blasts.’
        • ‘She stiffened and cocked her ear, hoping to hear something.’
  • cock one's eye

    • Glance in a quizzical or knowing manner with a raised eyebrow.

      ‘he cocked an eye speculatively over the rim of his glass’
      • ‘I like the way that she never stops distrusting Sam and even cocks her eye irritatedly at him when they are forced to impersonate a married couple.’
      • ‘He wasn't going to wear three-piece suits, and stay absolutely sober 24 hours a day, and never cock his eye when a good-looking woman went past.’
      • ‘The director suggests that he should cock his eye in a way that is funnier than he imagined, judging from his enthusiastic response.’
      • ‘He looks straight into the camera, cocks his eye and speaks.’
      • ‘Brian cocked his eye, a puzzled look crossing his face.’
  • cock of the walk

    • Someone who dominates others within a group.

      ‘don't ever forget he's cock of the walk here’
      • ‘Once you were the office favorite, the cock of the walk, but jealousy and backstabbing rivalries conspired to drag you down.’
      • ‘She took over as the cock of the walk in British athletics.’
      • ‘It won't necessarily make him cock of the walk, however.’
      • ‘He will then spend the weekend strutting around like the cock of the walk.’
      • ‘Just seven months ago, the guys at Powerline were cock of the walk.’
      • ‘In the days when he was cock of the walk as a wing back, he was a big game player.’
      • ‘Now, he claims, everything has changed, ‘The lame duck is now cock of the walk.’’
      • ‘One day you are cock of the walk and the next you are a feather duster.’
      • ‘He went on, ‘and at the center of that you have a charismatic cock of the walk.’’
      • ‘‘Craig thinks he's the cock of the walk,’ she said.’
  • cock a snook

Origin

Old English cocc, from medieval Latin coccus; reinforced in Middle English by Old French coq.

Pronunciation:

cock

/kɒk/

Main definitions of cock in English

: cock1cock2

cock2

noun

dated
  • A small pile of hay, straw, or other material, with vertical sides and a rounded top.

    ‘we perched on a half-built cock of hay’
    • ‘Country people will recall the mini-cyclones lifting cocks of hay into the air and carrying them for a distance before dropping them back to ground again.’
    • ‘He took a great pride in those cocks of hay, especially during wet summers when they were the only ones to be seen for miles around.’
    • ‘He developed the making of a neat cock of hay to a fine art.’
    • ‘The cocks of hay that had stood in the fields for some weeks were checked regularly by dad to make sure that they did not ‘heat’.’
    • ‘We slalomed around cocks of hay, stopped to drink from wooden troughs and waved happily at the other cyclists cruising along the lakeside.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]Archaic
  • Pile (hay or other material) into cocks.

    ‘it does not rake the grass into rows, nor cock it’

Origin

Late Middle English: perhaps of Scandinavian origin and related to Norwegian kok heap, lump, Danish kok haycock, and Swedish koka clod.

Pronunciation:

cock

/kɒk/