verb (used without object)

  1. to listen attentively; hearken.

verb (used with object)

  1. Archaic. to listen to; hear.


  1. a hunter’s shout to hounds, as to encourage them in following the scent.

Verb Phrases

  1. hark back,
    1. (of hounds) to return along the course in order to regain a lost scent.
    2. to return to a previous subject or point; revert: He kept harking back to his early days in vaudeville.


  1. (intr; usually imperative) to listen; pay attention

late 12c., from Old English *heorcian, perhaps an intensive form from base of hieran (see hear). Cf. talk/tale. Cognate with Old Frisian harkia “listen,” Middle Dutch horken, Old High German horechon, German horchen. To hark back (1829) originally referred to hounds returning along a track when the scent has been lost, till they find it again. Related: Harked; harking.

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