"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[hahr-kuh n] /ˈhɑr kən/
verb (used without object)
Literary. to give heed or attention to what is said; listen.
verb (used with object)
Archaic. to listen to; hear.
Also, harken.
Origin of hearken
1150-1200; Middle English hercnen, Old English he(o)rcnian, suffixed form of assumed *heorcian; see hark, -en1
Related forms
hearkener, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hearken
  • Chess is a game in which to hearken back to the good old days is often to be right up with the latest trend in strategy.
  • The design doesn't hearken back to another era, it is from another era.
  • These arguments over the role of government in the market hearken back to the earliest days of capitalism.
  • Teased tresses and heavy makeup hearken back to earlier times.
  • Members of the jury, hearken to your verdict as the court will record it.
British Dictionary definitions for hearken


(archaic) to listen to (something)
Derived Forms
hearkener, noun
Word Origin
Old English heorcnian; see hark
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
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Word Origin and History for 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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