: coil, loop
specifically : a coiled or looped bundle (as of yarn) usually containing a definite yardage
: any of a series of rings or clips by which a jib or staysail is attached to a stay

Examples of hank in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There was no one else on the strand, the surf a sickly yellow foam bubbling between the matted black hanks of seaweed heaped on the beach. Matthew Gavin Frank, Harper's Magazine, 21 Apr. 2022 In one of its spreads, a burst of light on muddy asphalt abuts a jumble of walls and fences, rain pounding a limousine, and a spatter of paint with a hank of rope. Leo Rubinfien, The New York Review of Books, 11 Feb. 2021 If a breeze is blowing, the air fills with the clamoring of jib hanks. Joe Kloc, Harper's magazine, 10 June 2019 The Shaker-style peg rack could hold hanks of yarn. Christine Pittel, House Beautiful, 1 Aug. 2012 Open the other days of the week, the Shaker Store sells hanks of yarn, Shaker seeds, herbal teas, and Shaker brooms. Patricia Harris and David Lyon, BostonGlobe.com, 21 June 2018 One photograph from the era shows a woman standing in a village as two men forcibly restrain her wrists; a third man grabs a hank of her blonde hair, his scissors poised to hack it away. Ann Mah, Time, 6 June 2018 The next morning, the police and Victoria’s parents found articles of the girl’s clothing and a bloody hank of hair on a road near a sand pit in Mahwah. David Stout, New York Times, 24 Sep. 2017 By the time he’s done, the legendary Viennese doktor has been reduced to not much more than a rag, a bone, and a hank of hair. Laura Miller, Slate Magazine, 5 Sep. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hank.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse hǫnk hank; akin to Old English hangian to hang

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hank was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near hank

Cite this Entry

“Hank.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hank. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: coil entry 2 sense 1a, skein
especially : a coil of yarn

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