hock

1 of 5

noun (1)

1
a
: the tarsal joint or region in the hind limb of a digitigrade quadruped (such as the horse) corresponding to the human ankle but elevated and bending backward see horse illustration
b
: a joint of a fowl's leg that corresponds to the hock of a quadruped
2
: a small cut of meat from a front or hind leg just above the foot
ham hocks

hock

2 of 5

noun (2)

often capitalized
chiefly British

hock

3 of 5

verb (1)

hocked; hocking; hocks
hocker noun

hock

4 of 5

noun (3)

1
a
: pawn entry 2 sense 2
got his watch out of hock
b
: debt sense 2
in hock to the bank
2
: prison

hock

5 of 5

verb (2)

hocked; hocking

transitive verb

US, informal
: to forcefully spit out (something, such as phlegm)
hock a loogie
hock a wad of tobacco

Example Sentences

Verb (1) the prince had to hock the family jewels to pay his gambling debts

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English hoch, hough, from Old English hōh heel; akin to Old Norse hāsin hock

Noun (2)

modification of German Hochheimer, from Hochheim, Germany

Noun (3) and Verb (1)

Dutch hok pen, prison

Verb (2)

variant of hawk entry 3

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1540, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

circa 1625, in the meaning defined above

Verb (1)

1878, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

1883, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (2)

1990, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hock was in 1540

Dictionary Entries Near hock

Cite this Entry

“Hock.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hock. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

hock

1 of 3 noun
1
: the region in the hind limb of a four-footed animal (as the horse) that corresponds to the human ankle
2
: a small cut of meat from either the front or hind leg just above the foot especially of a pig
ham hocks

hock

2 of 3 verb

hock

3 of 3 noun
: pawn entry 2 sense 2
got the ring out of hock

Medical Definition

hock

noun
: the joint or region of the joint that unites the tarsal bones in the hind limb of a digitigrade quadruped (as the horse) and that corresponds to the human ankle but is elevated and bends backward

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