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hulk

[huhlk] /hʌlk/
noun
1.
the body of an old or dismantled ship.
2.
a ship specially built to serve as a storehouse, prison, etc., and not for sea service.
3.
a clumsy-looking or unwieldy ship or boat.
4.
a bulky or unwieldy person, object, or mass.
5.
the shell of a wrecked, burned-out, or abandoned vehicle, building, or the like.
verb (used without object)
6.
to loom in bulky form; appear as a large, massive bulk (often followed by up):
The bus hulked up suddenly over the crest of the hill.
7.
British Dialect. to lounge, slouch, or move in a heavy, loutish manner.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English hulke, Old English hulc; perhaps < Medieval Latin hulcus < Greek holkás trading vessel, orig., towed ship
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for hulks

hulk

/hʌlk/
noun
1.
the body of an abandoned vessel
2.
(derogatory) a large or unwieldy vessel
3.
(derogatory) a large ungainly person or thing
4.
(often pl) the frame or hull of a ship, used as a storehouse, etc, or (esp in 19th-century Britain) as a prison
verb
5.
(intransitive) (Brit, informal) to move clumsily
6.
(intransitive) often foll by up. to rise massively
Word Origin
Old English hulc, from Medieval Latin hulca, from Greek holkas barge, from helkein to tow
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 hulks

hulk

n.

Old English hulc "light, fast ship" (but in Middle English a heavy, unwieldy one), probably from Old Dutch hulke and Medieval Latin hulcus, perhaps ultimately from Greek holkas "merchant ship," literally "ship that is towed," from helkein "to pull" (from PIE root *selk- "to pull, draw"). Meaning "body of an old, worn-out ship" is first recorded 1670s. The Hulks ("Great Expectations") were old ships used as prisons. Sense of "big, clumsy person" is first recorded c.1400 (early 14c. as a surname: Stephen le Hulke).

v.

"to be clumsy, unwieldy, lazy," 1789, from hulk (n.). Related: Hulked; hulking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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