One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The dry outer covering of some fruits or seeds.
shell, hull, pod, case, casing, covering, seed caseView synonyms
- ‘Not to mention that the Samoan twins had grown fat on coconut husks and melons in his absence.’
- ‘Harvest them when the fruit fills the husk but is still firm and green.’
- ‘It is like the dry husks of seeds or the even drier riverbed.’
- ‘Trials ended after 3 min of foraging or 1 min after all the birds flew back to their perches, after which the remaining seeds and husks were removed.’
- ‘Although true psyllium comes from the plant Plantago psyllium, the husk and seed of Plantago ovata is commonly referred to as psyllium.’
- ‘It contains all parts of the grain - the bran, the outer husk and the germ.’
- ‘For example, the fruit of pomegranate, having its husk filled with numerous fleshy seeds, became a symbol of fertility.’
- ‘The beer is then left to ferment for twenty four hours before the mix is strained through an empty cotton bag to remove the solid husks of the seeds.’
- ‘It is abundantly available as it forms 70 per cent of the weight of the coconut husk.’
- ‘While the chicken is cooking make the spice paste, first crushing the cardamom pods, discarding the green husks and crushing the black seeds to a powder using a pestle and mortar.’
- ‘This mixture includes soil, burned husks, plants from the legume family, fresh leaves, a byproduct of milled rice, and manure.’
- ‘Coir is a coarse fibre obtained from coconut husks and used in the manufacture of rope and other products.’
- ‘The fruit of the coconut tree includes the buoyant husk surrounding the coconut, which helps the seeds float downstream and spread the tree's offspring far and wide.’
- ‘No, you can't just grind the entire pod, but an initial pounding in a mortar will loosen the seeds from the papery husk.’
- ‘She uses real leaves, seeds, husks and pods, building on their natural form and texture and drenching them in colour.’
- ‘The trio wanted to show Haitians to cook with briquettes, thick donut-shaped disks made by mixing water, paper, twigs, leaves, corn husks and other waste.’
- ‘Here, however, there was nothing; no birds flying overhead, no rodents, no chewed branches or seed husks, no droppings of any kind.’
- ‘Unlike the forest floor, where twigs and seed husks are readily available, researchers placed white disks around the environment.’
- ‘In the fall, plants produce and discard gorgeous seeds, seed pods, husks, and pinecones.’
- ‘Lemurs, a group of primates on the African island of Madagascar, go after a wide range of seeds, including big fleshy seeds encased in a husk.’
- 1.1 A dry or rough outer layer or coating, especially when empty of its contents.‘the husks of dead bugs’figurative ‘I expect whatever husk of a person emerges from the car to be sheet-white’
- ‘Cecil gulped, he looked around at the surprisingly empty street, burned out husks of vehicles, rubble strewn all over the road, dead bodies, fire, smoke, it was almost too much.’
- ‘Or would I just be an empty husk like anyone else?’
- ‘Every remaining inch of his body just screamed pain at the camera as he lay motionless and paralysed, the empty husk of his body barely making an impression on the air bed they had transferred from the cancer ward.’
- ‘Without our basketball, hockey, and football, we are empty husks of men who might as well go into hibernation until late Fall.’
- ‘This allows the husk to open and barley to start to sprout - at this point it is called green malt.’
- ‘The used feeder was cleared of its empty husks and weighed.’
- ‘At maturity, the nuts usually fall to the ground and the husks split open, revealing the brown shells, round with pointed ends and up to 2.5 cm in diameter.’
- ‘The nut husks and tree bark are used to make a black dye for river cane baskets unique to the area.’
- ‘The product used as filling for these pillows of buckwheat is actually the hulls or husks that protect the kernels.’
- ‘I was going to go into the types of medication one can take to numb their emotions and fill their empty husk with medical happiness, but I'm far too depressed for that now.’
- ‘Darkness loomed all around her and the town that had seemed so cheerful and welcoming an hour ago now only felt like prison, a prison for her empty husk of a body.’
- ‘But the symptoms of deprivation are much the same as those of excess, and I am left weak and drained, an empty husk until I take another dose.’
- ‘It was an empty shell, a husk lacking the spark of life.’
- ‘It clung to the planet like a locust, slowly eating away at the precious minerals until there was nothing left except an empty husk.’
- ‘The food contains the grit from the quern stones and the husks of the rough unengineered wheat used to make the bread.’
- ‘When almost done, peel back husks, brush lightly with butter or oil, and grill kernels directly over fire, one to two minutes.’
- ‘When I was done, I tossed her aside like an empty husk of what was once beautiful.’
- ‘Then peel off the dry husks to reveal any insect damage.’
- ‘Hidden beneath the dry husks of the bulbs you buy are next spring's embryonic flowers.’
- ‘The derelict husks of each burnt-out building cast ominous shadows onto the empty streets, where still-decaying corpses lay abandoned around every corner.’
with object Remove the husk or husks from.
- ‘Much of the work of the household is gender-specific, with women working longer hours than men and responsible for the hard work of hauling water and firewood and husking the rice.’
- ‘I have never husked corn, ground wheat, or turned butter.’
- ‘Women are responsible for much heavy work - hauling water for the household and, in the absence of rice mills, pounding the rice in big mortars of hollowed out logs to husk it.’
- ‘One day while I was husking maize, after my daily devotion, my father's mother came and sat by me.’
- ‘Those without jobs husked coconuts and sold them like soda.’
Late Middle English: probably from Low German hūske ‘sheath’, literally ‘little house’.
1Bronchitis in cattle, sheep, or pigs caused by parasitic infestation, typically marked by a husky cough.
2Huskiness.‘the husk in her voice’
with direct speech Say something in a husky voice.‘“Help me,” husked Miles’
- ‘‘Say the word and it's yours…’ the voice husked, he could feel the warm breath brush his ear tauntingly, a brush of silk against his arm.’
Early 18th century: partly from husky, partly from the earlier verb husk ‘(of a farm animal) cough’.
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