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hark

[hahrk] /hɑrk/
verb (used without object)
1.
to listen attentively; hearken.
verb (used with object)
2.
Archaic. to listen to; hear.
noun
3.
a hunter's shout to hounds, as to encourage them in following the scent.
Verb phrases
4.
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.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English herken, earlier herkien, Old English *heorcian; cognate with Old Frisian herkia, harkia; akin to Middle Dutch harken, Middle High German, German horchen. See hearken, hear
Related forms
unharked, adjective
Synonyms
4b. refer, allude; regress, retrogress.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for harked back

hark

/hɑːk/
verb
1.
(intransitive; usually imperative) to listen; pay attention
Word Origin
Old English heorcnian to hearken; related to Old Frisian herkia, Old High German hōrechen; see hear
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for harked back

hark

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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