blow one's cork


the outer bark of an oak, Quercus suber, of Mediterranean countries, used for making stoppers for bottles, floats, etc.
Also called cork oak. the tree itself.
something made of cork.
a piece of cork, rubber, or the like used as a stopper, as for a bottle.
Angling. a small float to buoy up a fishing line or to indicate that a fish is biting.
Also called phellem, suber. Botany. an outer tissue of bark produced by and exterior to the phellogen.
verb (used with object)
to provide or fit with cork or a cork.
to stop with or as if with a cork (often followed by up ).
to blacken with burnt cork.
blow/pop one's cork, Informal. to lose one's temper; release one's emotional or physical tension.

1275–1325; Middle English cork(e) < Arabic qurq < Latin quercus oak

recork, verb (used with object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cork (kɔːk)
1.  the thick light porous outer bark of the cork oak, used widely as an insulator and for stoppers for bottles, casks, etc
2.  a piece of cork or other material used as a stopper
3.  an angling float
4.  botany Also called: phellem a protective layer of dead impermeable cells on the outside of the stems and roots of woody plants, produced by the outer layer of the cork cambium
5.  made of corkRelated: suberose
6.  to stop up (a bottle, cask, etc) with or as if with a cork; fit with a cork
7.  (often foll by up) to restrain: to cork up the emotions
8.  to black (the face, hands, etc) with burnt cork
Related: suberose
[C14: probably from Arabic qurq, from Latin cortex bark, especially of the cork oak]

Cork (kɔːk)
1.  a county of SW Republic of Ireland, in Munster province: crossed by ridges of low mountains; scenic coastline. County town: Cork. Pop: 447 829 (2002). Area: 7459 sq km (2880 sq miles)
2.  a city and port in S Republic of Ireland, county town of Co Cork, at the mouth of the River Lee: seat of the University College of Cork (1849). Pop: 186 239 (2002)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, from Sp. alcorque "cork sole," prob. from Arabic al-qurq, ult. from L. quercus "oak" or cortex (gen. corticis) "bark." The place in Ireland is Anglicized from Ir. Corcaigh, from corcach "marsh," and is unrelated. The verb "to stop with a cork" is from 1650.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
cork   (kôrk)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. The outermost layer of tissue in woody plants that is resistant to the passage of water vapor and gases and that becomes the bark. Cork is secondary tissue, formed on the outside of the tissue layer known as cork cambium. The cell walls of cork cells contain suberin. Once they mature, cork cells die. Also called phellem.

  2. The lightweight, elastic outer bark of the cork oak, which grows near the Mediterranean Sea. Cork is used for bottle stoppers, insulation, and other products.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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