follow Dictionary.com

Denotation vs. Connotation

poky

[poh-kee] /ˈpoʊ ki/
adjective, pokier, pokiest. Informal.
1.
puttering; slow; dull:
poky drivers.
2.
(of a place) small and cramped:
a poky little room.
3.
(of dress) dowdy.
noun, plural pokies.
4.
Slang. a jail:
They put him in the poky for carrying a concealed weapon.
Origin of poky
1840-1850
1840-50; poke1 + -y1
Related forms
pokily, adverb
pokiness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for poky
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is so silly of you trying to make yourself miserable, and living in poky lodgings.

    Uncle Max Rosa Nouchette Carey
  • I wouldn't have you go prowling about this poky old place for anything.

    Thankful's Inheritance Joseph C. Lincoln
  • She wore a print short-gown and petticoat, and a poky sun-bonnet; and her bare arms were reeking with soap-suds.

    Hetty Gray Rosa Mulholland
  • But I'm due in a poky little place in Massachusetts called Enderby.

    Elsie Marley, Honey Joslyn Gray
  • She could not stand the poky little lodgings, and she missed her servant Abdullah more than words could tell.

    Soldiers Three, Part II. Rudyard Kipling
  • “I can't help it, mamma; Battles is slow and poky,” he fumed.

  • How small and poky and drab the home drawing-room would appear in comparison!

    A College Girl Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  • One hundred and thirty pounds a year for this poky little hole?

    A Simpleton Charles Reade
  • I wasn't very sick, and that made it all the worse being down in a poky state-room when I wanted to walk.

    The Kentons William Dean Howells
British Dictionary definitions for poky

poky

/ˈpəʊkɪ/
adjective pokier, pokiest
1.
(informal) (esp of rooms) small and cramped
2.
without speed or energy; slow
noun
3.
(mainly US & Canadian, slang) the poky, prison
Derived Forms
pokily, adverb
pokiness, noun
Word Origin
C19: from poke1 (in slang sense: to confine)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for poky
adj.

also pokey, 1828, "confined, pinched, shabby," later (1856) "slow, dull;" from varied senses of poke (v.) + -y (2). Also cf. poke (n.3). Related: Pokily; pokiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for poky

pokey 1

noun

A jail; clink, slammer: My thoughts centered around the prospect of the ''Pokey''

[1919+; origin unknown]

pokey 2

adjective

  1. Slow; dawdling; sluggish: What a pokey waiter (1856+)
  2. Insignificant; paltry: a pokey little town (1849+)

Related Terms

hokey-pokey

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for poky

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for poky

13
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for poky