heark·​en | \ ˈhär-kən How to pronounce hearken (audio) \
variants: or harken
hearkened or harkened; hearkening\ ˈhärk-​niŋ How to pronounce hearkening (audio) , ˈhär-​kə-​ \ or harkening

Definition of hearken

intransitive verb

1 : listen hearkened without much mental comment— Theodore Dreiser
2 : to give respectful attention the humble folk who hearkened to these evangelists— G. M. Stephenson

transitive verb

archaic : to give heed to : hear

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Synonyms & Antonyms for hearken


attend, hark, harken, hear, heed, listen, mind


ignore, tune out

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Examples of hearken in a Sentence

hearken! I hear the distant beat of the hooves of many horses

First Known Use of hearken

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for hearken

Middle English herknen, from Old English heorcnian; akin to Old High German hōrechen to listen, Old English hīeran to hear

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Time Traveler for hearken

The first known use of hearken was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for hearken


hear·​ken | \ ˈhär-kən How to pronounce hearken (audio) \
hearkened; hearkening

Kids Definition of hearken

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More from Merriam-Webster on hearken

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hearken

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hearken

Spanish Central: Translation of hearken

Nglish: Translation of hearken for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hearken for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hearken

What made you want to look up hearken? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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