Definition of poky in US English:


(also pokey)


  • 1North American Annoyingly slow or dull.

    ‘his poky old horse’
    ‘I slept through his poky sermons’
    • ‘With that much memory available there would be little reason for programs to constantly access that pokey old hard drive: Savvy apps could load just about everything into memory.’
    • ‘Now, if you want to get all the critical updates, but have a pokey old dialup connection, Microsoft wants to give you a CD shipped free of charge.’
    • ‘If you have an older PC, then a slower processor and pokey system components may cause a bottleneck, and you won't get the graphics performance for which you overpaid.’
    • ‘Now you can abandon your pokey, slow analog modem and step up to DSL's blazing access speeds.’
    • ‘Here, the worst incident of road rage is Roddy Murray flashing his brights at a pokey weekend driver.’
    • ‘So this Saturday, April 16, is your chance to ditch your slow, pokey and unused technology.’
    • ‘No one said that electric cars have to be poky, dull, and ‘responsible.’’
  • 2(of a room or building) uncomfortably small and cramped.

    ‘five of us shared the poky little room’
    • ‘After a gruelling day of standing staring into space, she returns to her poky apartment to make drawings, which she occasionally sells through an art dealer.’
    • ‘Here we are, though, in a poky room that slopes quite dramatically towards the door.’
    • ‘So I followed the troops, got soaked on the way and eventually located a rather pokey meeting room where the government's great and good were already gathered.’
    • ‘In a brilliant coup de theatre, we first see him in what appears to be a poky little confining room, which as the play starts, expands into a cosy living room decorated for Christmas.’
    • ‘Not much land, either, except for a poky office in a basement in Camden Town.’
    • ‘It's mainly a liberating process; I create shelf space in our poky house, I get to re-evaluate albums I'd forgotten about and I hopefully get some cash.’
    • ‘The place is small and pokey, with cramped rooms and straight, narrow pathways.’
    • ‘‘I could have worked in the City, you know,’ he will tell them as he makes his way to the same pokey office he's been in for 20 years.’
    • ‘At that moment, Daniel pulled into a small pokey café with petrol on the side of the motorway and made the bike bring to a standstill.’
    • ‘Take a poky little room above a pub: there are more people on stage than there are in the audience.’
    • ‘I followed, silent and obedient, as she took us to a pokey shop in a dead end.’
    • ‘The only major alteration was the transformation of a poky shower room and toilet into an elegant pampering place.’
    • ‘This hit me hard, and I felt vulnerable in the poky hotel room with only the ticking time bomb of a box and the view of my sea for comfort.’
    • ‘Given the financial commitment involved, it's important to get it right - it could mean the difference between a pokey hothouse or a cold, dark space and a bright, year-round sunroom.’
    • ‘I must confess I didn't realise it had been renovated - and I'd been avoiding it because in its previous incarnation, it was a slightly pokey cafeteria.’
    • ‘The cottages had either been too small with pokey rooms and low ceilings or too small with too high a price and outbuildings beyond repair.’
    • ‘The pokey pub seemed to contain almost the whole of the village.’
    • ‘Did you think I was just going to stay in that poky apartment and wait until you deigned to return?’
    • ‘The regulator and his staff operate from the third floor of a rather pokey building that resembles a cheap hotel.’
    • ‘One year it's living in Malibu, the next year, it's being in plays in pokey theatres in London.’
    small, little, tiny
    View synonyms


Mid 19th century (in the sense ‘concerned with petty matters’): from poke (in a contemporaneous sense ‘confine’) + -y.