verb (used without object)
to listen attentively; hearken.
verb (used with object)
Archaic. to listen to; hear.
a hunter's shout to hounds, as to encourage them in following the scent.
Verb phrases
hark back,
(of hounds) to return along the course in order to regain a lost scent.
to return to a previous subject or point; revert: He kept harking back to his early days in vaudeville.

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

unharked, adjective

4b. refer, allude; regress, retrogress.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hark (hɑːk)
(intr; usually imperative) to listen; pay attention
[Old English heorcnian to hearken; related to Old Frisian herkia, Old High German hōrechen; see hear]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1175, from O.E. *heorcian (related to hearken), an intensive form from base of hieran (see hear). To hark back (1829) originally refers to hounds returning along a track when the scent has been lost, till they find it again.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The games themselves even seem to hark back to yesteryear both in how they play
  and their route to market.
Most current practices and policies still hark back to the go-go era and even
  beyond--to pioneer days.
They say it could hark back to the time of the dinosaurs.
These policies are not in keeping with that status and hark back to much darker
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