Main definitions of cock in English

: cock1cock2

cock1

noun

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

    • ‘A ‘moth-type’ display when the cock makes short fluttering flights above the hen has been described.’
    • ‘During that time the cock is allowed to look at another hen.’
    • ‘Display flights between rival cocks occupy much of the birds' time on the breeding grounds.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The government approved a program to vaccinate free-range chickens, ducks, fighting cocks and tropical birds in a bid to fight off bird flu.’
    • ‘It also means the balance is wrong with too many cocks fighting over an ever decreasing pool of hens.’
    • ‘Most of them had just hatched when I got here and in the last 5 weeks they're becoming small hens and cocks.’
    • ‘Pheasants are handsome birds, especially the cocks, which are larger than the hens.’
    • ‘Apparently hens don't lay well in the presence of cocks, and won't incubate their own eggs.’
    • ‘The cocks really were the most beautiful birds.’
    • ‘A fully-trained battle cock can be sold for more than $450 U.S. dollars, which equals a small fortune in the Philippines.’
    • ‘This long-tailed cock was pale in color and beautiful in flight.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 crimson or brick-red parrot-like cocks may sing and chatter all moving like mice through branch and foliage.’
    • ‘Almost every household owns at least one cock raised for fighting.’
    • ‘Male fighting gouramies are extremely belligerent toward each other and they are often bred to fight, as with the fighting cocks.’
    • ‘Thoreau talks a little about how he misses the cock crowing, along with other domestic sounds.’
    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. 1.2 A 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 go round that corner on your special pedalcar, young cock!’
      • ‘Don't give her that ring, young cock!’
  • 2vulgar slang A man's penis.

  • 3British informal [mass noun] Nonsense:

    ‘that's all a lot of cock’
    • ‘It should surprise you not at all that this is cock.’
    • ‘Every single justification that is being given for destroying civil liberties is 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'm not even going to bother to retaliate against this, because I know that he's just talking cock.’
    • ‘I've probably been biased by the show's being such absolute 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 cocks his head slightly at me, the corner of his lips curving upward.’
    • ‘Cash raises her eyebrows and cocks her head at me.’
    • ‘She replied stubbornly and cocked her chin slightly in defiance.’
    • ‘‘You must be the mistress,’ he said quietly, cocking one arched eyebrow.’
    • ‘His head was cocked slightly to the right, and he was seeing her through squinted eyes.’
    • ‘Alyssa cocked her head sideways slightly referring to the glances they were getting.’
    • ‘Micah asked the question, relaxing back in his seat and cocking his head in my direction.’
    • ‘She jolted slightly in alarm, before leaning back and, cocking her chin to the side, surveyed him in perplexity.’
    • ‘‘You look like your mother,’ she said, cocking her head slightly.’
    • ‘Andrew's brow furrows, and he cocks his head slightly.’
    • ‘She smiled a very pleasant smile, cocking her head slightly.’
    • ‘The black-haired girl cocked her head and leaned forward a bit over the table.’
    • ‘She cocked one slick eyebrow at us with a small, tight smile.’
    • ‘She cocks her jaw, tilts her head, and taps a fisted hand on the chair's arm.’
    • ‘He cocked up a questioning eyebrow as he bent down lower to assess the noise.’
    • ‘He frowned slightly and cocked his head as he looked at her.’
    • ‘A raven pecks at the dying salmon, then cocks its head and looks at us.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The cat cocked its head slightly to the left, as though assessing the fairness of his words.’
    • ‘Jem cocks his head, casting a suspicious gaze in his direction.’
    tilt, tip, angle, lean, slope, bank, slant, incline, pitch, dip, cant, bevel, camber, heel, careen, put at an angle
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Bend a (limb or joint) at an angle:
      ‘Madge threw herself into the armchair and cocked her legs over the side’
      • ‘These hopes were soon dashed as he cocked one ham-sized fist back, paused and then unloaded into my right shoulder.’
      • ‘The forelimbs are to the left, and are cocked back, elbows high, with the forepaws tucked under the chest.’
      • ‘And there he was, long tail cocked, hooded with black, decorated with patches of deep and brilliant blue.’
      • ‘She hobbles out of the curtain with a murderous look on her face and her fist cocked and ready to throw another punch.’
      • ‘It was streaming blood and cocked at an angle that told everyone watching it was broken.’
      • ‘She lay sprawled on the ground below, one leg cocked beneath her at a grotesque angle.’
      • ‘It took a superbly timed and perfectly executed tackle from Smith to deny Darby, who, leg cocked, looked ready to score from six yards.’
      • ‘A soldier wheeled around the corner, arm cocked with a grenade.’
      • ‘She stood with hip cocked and hands crossed over her chest.’
      • ‘A straight extension of your arms, not cocked up or angled down, can cause strain and pain.’
      • ‘We now had each other in mutual strangle holds, right arms cocked to punch at full force.’
      • ‘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 sea of hands goes up: the men point their index fingers and cock their thumbs, waving imaginary guns over their heads.’
      • ‘In another photo, he is clenching a fist and has his arm cocked as if preparing to punch a hooded prisoner.’
      • ‘He then glared at Jake and growled, then charged him, his fist cocked back.’
      • ‘In two steps, she was upon it, springing onto its back, hand cocked to deliver a blow to the back of its skull.’
      • ‘He bowed before the black sapphire throne on which his master sprawled, his one leg cocked over the armrest, totally relaxed.’
      • ‘He found himself standing before his unyielding foe, fist cocked, and suddenly shook his head.’
      • ‘As she launched herself forward with one arm cocked back as a feint, he threw a forceful punch releasing a wave of concussive force.’
      • ‘Her wings are cocked in a funny angle as if they were broken recently.’
      bend, flex, crook, angle, curve, kink
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 (of a male dog) lift (a back leg) in order to urinate:
      ‘a greyhound cocked its leg against the tree’
      • ‘Council bosses are spending £75,000 to discover the effects of dogs cocking their legs against lamp posts.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Junior turned around as the dog was cocking his leg.’
      • ‘As usual, one charming little dog cocked its leg on my tackle bag.’
      • ‘His unluckiest dog cocked his leg at a lamp post - and was electrocuted.’
      • ‘One piece featured a dog cocking his leg against an orange tree.’
      lift, raise, lift up, hold up
      View synonyms
  • 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’
    • ‘As quietly as he could he headed up the stairs, revolver cocked and ready in his hand.’
    • ‘When the lever is on ‘safe,’ the hammer cannot be cocked by the trigger, by hand, or by pulling back the slide.’
    • ‘The sound of fifty plus guns being cocked ready to fire echoed throughout the enclosed hangar.’
    • ‘‘We don't make deals with the enemy,’ he snarled cocking the gun making it ready to fire.’
    • ‘At some stage you cocked that gun so that it was ready to fire.’
    • ‘He stepped into view and the sound of his gun being cocked brought the guards around suddenly, rifles ready.’
    • ‘The hammer must now be cocked or lowered by hand with a single action pistol, and that gets dangerous.’
    • ‘Grinning, Vincent raised his eyebrow, cocking the revolver.’
    • ‘Soldiers, with guns cocked and ready, check your ID and query the purpose of your visit.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Two goons cocked their guns ready to fire at me, still kneeling on the ground, when he lifted a finger.’
    • ‘All around, weapons were readied, pistols were drawn, and rifles were cocked.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I pointed the pistol at the shooter, but the gun wasn't cocked.’
    • ‘Chris was just standing up from his seat in front of the computer, cocking a machine gun and inspecting it closely.’
    • ‘With a 1911, the gun can be cocked and ready to fire with the safety on, so again there is no problem.’
  • 3British cock something upinformal Ruin something as a result of incompetence or inefficiency:

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

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’
      • ‘He and others carried their guns with a cartridge chambered, hammer at full cock and thumb safety engaged.’
      • ‘The hammer should be returned to the half-cock safety position when the action is closed rather than leaving it at full cock.’
      • ‘He was making a vigilant circumspection of the forest, his shotgun held in both hands and at full cock, his finger upon the trigger.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You can fire one barrel with the other at full cock without fear of accidentally firing the other barrel.’
  • 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 tilted his head and cocked his foxlike ears at an angle that mirrored the devilish sparkle in his brown eyes.’
      • ‘He cocked his ears and tilted his head to study the other with cold 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’
        • ‘She suddenly stopped speaking, and cocked her ear to listen to something.’
        • ‘She stiffened and cocked her ear, hoping to hear something.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Wesley heard a sound and cocked his ear in the direction.’
        • ‘She hefted the large mass of weaponry with great difficulty, and then cocked her ear.’
        • ‘There, he said, cocking his ear, don't you hear someone calling you?’
        • ‘Aaron cocked his ear to one side as he usually did when trying to hear something and said, ‘Sounds like the shed door.’’
        • ‘Because of the confidential tone that my voice had taken, every ear in the room was cocked in our direction.’
        • ‘He struck his six-iron well enough and cocked his ear to pick up the hum of appreciation at the other end.’
        • ‘Jennifer breathed, cocking her ear to the sound of the blasts.’
  • 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • cock of the walk

    • Someone who dominates others within a group:

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

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/