Definition of hark in English:



[no object]literary
  • 1usually in imperative Listen.

    ‘Hark! He knocks’
    • ‘Oh wait a minute hark is that another threat from yonder that dost break?’
    • ‘Nawasi, I speak to you of the future of your people, hark, child, listen.’
    • ‘But hark… isn't that Carnatic music floating in the air?’
    • ‘So, hark, I venture forth into the narrow confines of this Northern Italian city, searching for the romance which so filled young Romeo's heart.’
    • ‘But hark, I hear another mirthful chortle from the professor and I'm off into the undergrowth again in search of another tantalising discovery…’
    listen, lend an ear, pay attention, pay heed, attend, mark, note, notice
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    1. 1.1hark atBritish informal Used to draw attention to someone who has said or done something considered to be foolish or silly.
      ‘just hark at you, speaking all lah-de-dah!’
      • ‘Oh hark at me, I'm giving away some details of my personal life on my weblog… where will this madness end?’
      • ‘We move on March 17th, into leafy Hampstead (ooh, hark at us!) and this utterly cavernous 1930s mansion flat with wooden floors, white walls, enormous windows, gigantic rooms and art deco kitsch tiling in the bathroom.’
      • ‘When we were flying to Texas at Xmas (ooh, hark at him!) the plane had a neat feature showing you exactly where we were on the globe and where we'd been.’
      • ‘But hark at me, coming over all puritan after a ‘detox’ weekend away (never mind the fact we drank more than a normal night down the Horse).’
      • ‘Make a roux (ooh, hark at me and my fancy cookery phrases) by melting the butter in a saucepan, heating it to bubbling point, then adding the flour and stirring until the mixture turns golden.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • hark back to

    • 1Mention or remember (something from the past)

      ‘if it was such a rotten holiday, why hark back to it?’
      • ‘The Dutchman has engaged in a PR drive over the past seven days, harking back to the special days of Nicholson.’
      • ‘Living in the past and harking back to your mistakes only makes a victim of you.’
      • ‘And - although I wouldn't go all the way with this point - there is a feeling that looking to the future is more important than harking back to the past.’
      • ‘One will have no choice over the course of the following week but to keep harking back to a past well documented while the other's only option is to look forward to a future unknown.’
      • ‘But nowadays, though the old men and women remember, the younger generations no longer hark back to that bitter past.’
      • ‘You can say that I hark back to the past and you would be right, because I am, but I do so for a reason.’
      • ‘Much of his speech harked back to Africa's harsh past under European powers.’
      • ‘And he is harking back to another past meeting for inspiration.’
      • ‘But the event was not simply about harking back to the past.’
      • ‘But, while it's fashionable to hark back to the past, Armfield believes that many aspects of the game are better than ever before.’
      recall, call to mind, recollect, think of
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      1. 1.1Evoke (an older style or genre)
        ‘paintings that hark back to Constable and Turner’
        • ‘Reflective surfaces actually hark back to the Art Deco style, though their stylishness seems very ‘LA’ to me.’
        • ‘His relaxed guitar style harks back to the Hendrix of Electric Lady Land.’
        • ‘Elsewhere, women's dresses and coats, harking back to '50s and '60s styles and stiffened with foam rubber, hung in rows on the wall.’
        • ‘We'd like to see rock move into the future, where it's fused in different genres and not harking back to the '70s.’
        • ‘Firstly, however, is the arrival of Jenna G, a truly soulful diva, whose vocal style harks back to the heady days of Nina Simone.’
        • ‘The new development takes its inspiration from the past and harks back to the original design of the public house.’
        • ‘Box hedging harks back to the past, but depending on its arrangement, can also look incredibly contemporary.’
        • ‘Peyroux's nomadic life and folksy, natural style of singing also hark back to a simpler era, when a teenager could run away from home and join a band of street musicians.’
        • ‘If Brunel's engineering projects were radical, pioneering and futuristic, his architecture displayed a passion for ornament and an eclectic mix of historic styles that harks back to Regency days.’
        • ‘Its style harks back to the days when wealthy industrialists commissioned architects to design gracious new homes.’
        recall, call to mind, look back to, turn back to, cause one to remember, cause one to recollect, cause one to think back to
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Middle English: of Germanic origin; related to German horchen, also to hearken.