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ˈhäŋk How to pronounce honk (audio)
honked; honking; honks

intransitive verb

: to make the characteristic cry of a goose
: to make a sound resembling the cry of a goose

transitive verb

: to cause to honk
honk a horn


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: the characteristic cry of a goose
also : a similar sound

Example Sentences

Verb We could hear the geese honking overhead. I honked at the car in front of me. Noun the honk of a horn
Recent Examples on the Web
The only honking is that of Canadian geese, mixed with the trill of bird calls and patter of the garden fountain. Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times, 17 May 2023 According to a video from writer Brittani Nichols of a construction-traffic message board outside the Warner Bros. lot in Los Angeles, someone wanted to make that abundantly clear to drivers passing by the picket lines, who’ve been honking to show support. Vulture, 11 May 2023 The woman, who would only identify herself as Julie, said Garcia was always friendly, waving and honking his horn. Jake Bleiberg, ajc, 8 May 2023 In the weeks leading up to the holiday — which this year begins on Friday — shopping districts in Gaza were packed, with seasonal religious music just audible over the din of shoppers and honking horns. Raja Abdulrahim, New York Times, 21 Apr. 2023 Witnesses told local media the truck driver honked the vehicle's horn repeatedly before the crash. Evelyne Musambi, BostonGlobe.com, 8 Apr. 2023 Protesters outside city hall held up signs and passing motorists honked their horns in support. Warren Kulo | Wkulo@al.com, al, 24 Mar. 2023 This agreement will shape Louisville, LMPD response to Department of Justice report People gathered at the park — where the basketball court has a mural of Taylor — and met with other supporters that either honked their car horns or put their fists in the air. Ana Rocío Álvarez Bríñez, The Courier-Journal, 11 Mar. 2023 For months, Frankie, who’s around 3 years old, searched for Gretel around the farm, honking and staying outside his shed at night. Kyle Melnick, Washington Post, 8 Mar. 2023
Disturbing the peace outside of studios is kind of the whole point of the picket line, and for some WGA supporters, the honks are melodious — and a good reminder of their end goal: Make the studios listen and acknowledge the WGA’s demands. Victoria Bekiempis, Vulture, 26 May 2023 My stress levels were so high that something as harmless as the honk of a car horn could send my heart rate to outer space. Brad Stulberg, Outside Online, 7 Mar. 2018 Strike captains worked hard to cajole those who drove on to the property to give up a honk — and some did. William Earl, Variety, 8 May 2023 The rare honk is usually meant to alert, not intimidate. Tom Vanderbilt, Outside Online, 14 Nov. 2019 And the crowd erupted in cheers as cars passed on Melrose Avenue, letting off a near-constant stream of supportive honks. Reis Thebault, Washington Post, 4 May 2023 The 2023 Met Gala kicked off with a bang (and a few honks) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Emily St. Martin, Los Angeles Times, 2 May 2023 Were the honks an oddly human show of irritation toward a tardy passenger? Lane Sainty, The Arizona Republic, 27 Apr. 2023 There’s one honk. Keith Bierygolick, The Enquirer, 13 Aug. 2021 See More

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

Word History




First Known Use


1813, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1813, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of honk was in 1813

Dictionary Entries Near honk

Cite this Entry

“Honk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honk. Accessed 2 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


: the cry of a goose
also : a similar sound (as of a horn)
honk verb

More from Merriam-Webster on honk

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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