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[nok] /nɒk/
a metal or plastic piece at the end of an arrow, having a notch for the bowstring.
a notch or groove at the end of an arrow into which the bowstring fits.
a notch or groove at each end of a bow, to hold the bowstring in place.
Nautical, throat (def 6a).
verb (used with object)
to furnish with a nock.
to adjust (the arrow) to the bowstring, in readiness to shoot.
Origin of nock
1325-75; Middle English nok(ke) (noun); akin to Dutch nok, Low German nok(ke) tip Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for nocked
Historical Examples
  • Wen I nocked at Marias dore, I stepped down off the steps and wated for her appairanse.

    The Bad Boy At Home Walter T. Gray
  • That night we was too many for the crew of the brig, as nocked under and us made them steer for France, so here we be.

  • Then Walter stooped down and gat his bow into his hand, and stood before the Maid, while he nocked an arrow.

    The Wood Beyond the World William Morris
  • Geronimo nocked the arrow, raised the bow, and needed every ounce of his strength to draw it.

    The Story of Geronimo James Arthur Kjelgaard
  • Daoud whipped a second arrow from the quiver hanging at his side, nocked it, and took quick aim.

  • Thus nock them all and sandpaper them smooth throughout, rounding the nocked end gracefully.

  • They were half way down the slope when the hunchback, stopping dead in his tracks, braced his bow and nocked an arrow.

    Johnny Longbow Roy J. Snell
  • Nevertheless, we nocked an arrow again, and just as he reached the ground we were close by to receive him.

  • Johnny drew back to the end of the room, then nocked an arrow and drove it through the very center of that spot.

    The Arrow of Fire Roy J. Snell
  • Young and I caught our breath, drew our arrows from their quivers, nocked them, and set ourselves in the archer's "stable stand."

British Dictionary definitions for nocked


a notch on an arrow that fits on the bowstring
either of the grooves at each end of a bow that hold the bowstring
verb (transitive)
to fit (an arrow) on a bowstring
to put a groove or notch in (a bow or arrow)
Word Origin
C14: related to Swedish nock tip
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 nocked



"notch on a bow," late 14c., of uncertain origin, probably from a Scandinavian source (cf. Swedish nock "notch"), but cf. also Low German nokk, Dutch nok "tip of a sail." Perhaps connected to nook.


"fit (an arrow) to a bowstring," 1510s, from nock (n.). Related: Nocked; nocking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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