poke

1 of 5

noun (1)

1
chiefly Southern US and Midland US : bag, sack
2
a
: wallet
b
: purse

poke

2 of 5

verb

poked; poking

transitive verb

1
a(1)
: prod, jab
poked him in the ribs
(2)
: to urge or stir by prodding or jabbing
poked and scolded by the old folksUpton Sinclair
(3)
: to cause to prod : thrust
poked a stick at the snake
b(1)
(2)
: to produce by or as if by piercing, stabbing, or jabbing
poke a hole
poked holes in his heavily footnoted argumentDavid Stoll
c(1)
: hit, punch
poked him in the nose
(2)
: to deliver (a blow) with the fist
(3)
: to hit (a blooper) in baseball
2
a
: to cause to project
poked her head out of the window
b
: to make (one's way) by poking
poked his way through the ruins
c
: to interpose or interject in a meddlesome manner
asked him not to poke his nose into other people's business

intransitive verb

1
a
: to make a prodding, jabbing, or thrusting movement especially repeatedly
b
: to strike out at something
2
a
: to look about or through something without system : rummage
poking around in the attic
b
: meddle
3
: to move or act slowly or aimlessly
just poked around and didn't accomplish much
4
: to become stuck out or forward : protrude

poke

3 of 5

noun (2)

1
a
: a quick thrust : jab
b
: a blow with the fist : punch
2
: a projecting brim on the front of a woman's bonnet
3
: a cutting remark : dig

poke

4 of 5

noun (3)

poke

5 of 5

noun (4)

po·​ke ˌpō-ˈkā How to pronounce poke (audio)
variants or less commonly poké
: a Hawaiian salad made typically from cubed pieces of raw seafood (such as tuna) marinated with soy sauce and sesame oil and mixed with onions or other ingredients
While Poke Hut will serve burritos, its specialty is poke bowls. Bases include sushi rice or greens, and from there customers choose a protein like raw or marinated tuna or salmon.Andy Brownfield
Phrases
poke fun at

Examples of poke in a Sentence

Noun (1) the old warning against buying a pig in a poke Verb I accidentally poked my finger right through the old fabric. Throwing pencils is not allowed because someone's eye could get poked out. Noun (2) please stop giving the cat pokes while it's trying to sleep you'd better shut up if you don't want a poke on the nose the constantly bickering husband and wife seem unable to let five minutes pass without an exchange of gratuitous pokes
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The poke was cautiously considered and planned to push the corrupted subsystem to work around its corruption. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 26 Mar. 2024 It’s known for its delicious, sashimi-grade poke and other Hawaiian-style snacks. Ben Davidson, The Mercury News, 25 Mar. 2024 The green onions were confined to the middle, engulfed in fluffy bread that sprang back with the poke of a finger. Jenn Harris, Los Angeles Times, 12 Feb. 2024 Less than a half hour before Hendricks County, Indiana, reached totality during the Monday, April 8, solar eclipse, a woman felt a poke on her arm. Mike Stunson, Kansas City Star, 10 Apr. 2024 The Oscars controversy was just another poke in the eye. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, 10 Apr. 2024 Playing after a gruesome poke in the eye Thursday, Nikola Jokic led Denver with 26 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists. Bennett Durando, The Denver Post, 27 Jan. 2024 But consider this: multiple shots in one visit means fewer office visits (and fewer pokes and less trauma for your baby). Rebecca Stewart, Parents, 21 Dec. 2023 DeSantis swipes at his top rivals In his opening remarks at the Florida Freedom Summit, Gov. Ron DeSantis said to get rid of the teleprompters -- an indirect poke at former President Donald Trump, who uses teleprompters when giving remarks. Abby Cruz, ABC News, 4 Nov. 2023
Verb
Nevertheless, there’s a distinct sharpness in the way the script, credited to Evan Johnson but based on a story by all three directors, pokes the bears. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 May 2024 Johnson’s Trump pokes fun at Trump’s rigged election claims, too. Anne McCarthy, Variety, 19 May 2024 Before breaking into song, Gyllenhaal poked fun at hosting the season 49 finale before the long-running NBC sketch comedy show celebrates its 50th season. Mitchell Peters, Billboard, 19 May 2024 During his opening monologue, Gyllenhaal poked fun at hosting the season 49 finale, rather than the milestone season 50 premiere. Raven Brunner, Peoplemag, 19 May 2024 In 2006, Dave Chapelle released a hilarious sketch on The Chappelle Show that poked fun at this idea. Greg Rosalsky, NPR, 14 May 2024 Videos shared on social media show a man poking the gator with a long stick and others laughing off-camera as the gator snaps at him. Olivia Lloyd, Charlotte Observer, 13 May 2024 Coal seams poked through the snow, glistening in the sun. Dan Kaufman, The New Yorker, 9 May 2024 The song finds the Grammy winner addressing and poking fun at the public's perception of her as a famous figure. Jack Irvin, Peoplemag, 7 May 2024

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French — more at pocket

Verb

Middle English; akin to Middle Dutch poken to poke

Noun (3)

perhaps modification of Virginia Algonquian pocone, poughkone puccoon

First Known Use

Noun (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a(1)

Noun (2)

1690, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (3)

1708, in the meaning defined above

Noun (4)

1977, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of poke was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near poke

Cite this Entry

“Poke.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poke. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

poke

1 of 3 noun
chiefly Southern & Midland

poke

2 of 3 verb
poked; poking
1
a
: jab, prod
poke a stick at a snake
poked me in the ribs
c
: to produce by piercing, stabbing, or jabbing
poke a hole
2
: to stick out or cause to stick out
poked her head out the window
3
: to be nosy especially about things that do not concern one
4
: to search over or through usually without purpose : rummage
poking around in the attic
5
: to move slowly or lazily
they were just poking along home

poke

3 of 3 noun
: a quick thrust : jab
Etymology

Noun

Middle English poke "bag, sack," from an early French dialect word poke (same meaning)

Verb

Middle English poken "to jab, prod"

More from Merriam-Webster on poke

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