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hearken

or harken

[hahr-kuh n] /ˈhɑr kən/
verb (used without object)
1.
Literary. to give heed or attention to what is said; listen.
verb (used with object)
2.
Archaic. to listen to; hear.
Origin of hearken
1150-1200
1150-1200; Middle English hercnen, Old English he(o)rcnian, suffixed form of assumed *heorcian; see hark, -en1
Related forms
hearkener, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hearkening
Historical Examples
  • And presently collapsing, the tent covered with a moist mantle those who were hearkening to the history of Mary of Egypt.

    The Legend of Ulenspiegel Charles de Coster
  • Shame on a gentleman for hearkening to the foul-mouthed villains one moment.

    Two Penniless Princesses Charlotte M. Yonge
  • We know that we are hearkening to a note which is not Shakespearean at all, not practical, not English.

    From a Cornish Window Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • Go away, missis; I've nought to do with you, either in hearkening, or talking.

    Mary Barton Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
  • He was hearkening to a diffused and faint uproar, far away to the left, like the deep note of a clarion.

    The Man Who Laughs Victor Hugo
  • But the men-folk gave all their ears to hearkening, and stood as close as they might.

    The House of the Wolfings William Morris
  • Never was silence more profound; they were hearkening for murmurs from a tomb.

  • To us hearkening for his answer his voice betrayed no sign of dismay.

    Richard Carvel, Complete Winston Churchill
  • Tom was hearkening, for directly after there was another crash, and another.

    The Vast Abyss George Manville Fenn
  • Norton is hearkening to these rude tongues that do speak so lustily!

British Dictionary definitions for hearkening

hearken

/ˈhɑːkən/
verb
1.
(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 hearkening
n.

Old English heorcnunge "harkening, listening, power of hearing" (see hearken).

hearken

v.

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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