All Words > Hearken

illustration Hearken



Part of speech: verb

Origin: Old English, 11th century


(archaic) Listen.


(Phrasal verb “hearken back”) Mention or remember something from the past; evoke an older style or genre.

Examples of Hearken in a sentence

"Charlie hearkened to his grandfather’s detailed fishing advice."

"Hearkening to the motel owner, we chose the local seafood restaurant for dinner."

About Hearken

“Hearken” predates modern English, with roots in the Old English words “heorcnian” and “hyrcnian.” It is related to the verb “hark,” which emerged in the 12th century, meaning to listen with focused attention.

Did you Know?

Modern speakers rarely use “hearken” to evoke its original meaning of “listen.” Rather, the term appears frequently in its phrasal verb form — “hearken back” — as a synonym for “call to mind” or “remember.” For example, the retro-inflected music of Bruno Mars is often said to hearken back to the golden days of soul, funk, and disco.

illustration Hearken

Recent Words

What's the word?