verb (used without object)

  1. Literary. to give heed or attention to what is said; listen.

verb (used with object)

  1. Archaic. to listen to; hear.


  1. archaic to listen to (something)

Old English heorcnunge “harkening, listening, power of hearing” (see hearken).


Old English heorcnian, a suffixed form of *heorcian, root of hark; from Proto-Germanic *hausjan (see hear). Harken is the usual spelling in U.S. and probably is better justified by etymology; hearken likely is from influence of hear.

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