noun (1)
\ ˈhäk How to pronounce hock (audio) \

Definition of hock

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1a : 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


noun (2), often capitalized

Definition of hock (Entry 2 of 5)

chiefly British


verb (1)
hocked; hocking; hocks

Definition of hock (Entry 3 of 5)


noun (3)

Definition of hock (Entry 4 of 5)

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


verb (2)
hocked; hocking

Definition of hock (Entry 5 of 5)

transitive verb

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

Other Words from hock

Verb (1)

hocker noun

Synonyms for hock

Synonyms: Verb (1)

Synonyms: Noun (3)

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Examples of hock in a Sentence

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

First Known Use of hock

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

History and Etymology for hock

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

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Cite this Entry

“Hock.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hock. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for hock


\ ˈhäk How to pronounce hock (audio) \

Kids Definition of hock

1 : a small piece of meat from the leg of a pig ham hocks
2 : the part of the rear leg of a four-footed animal that is like a human ankle


\ ˈhäk How to pronounce hock (audio) \

Medical Definition of hock

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on hock

Nglish: Translation of hock for Spanish Speakers


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