Middle English, reinforced by Middle Dutch and Middle Low German hulk, from Old English hulc (“fast ship”), from Medieval Latin hulcus, from a Mediterranean loan akin to Ancient Greek ὀλκάσ (olkás, “cargo ship”), from ἕλκω (hélkō, “to drag”).
hulk (plural hulks)
- A non-functional but floating ship, usually stripped of rigging and equipment, and often put to other uses such as storage or accommodation.
- (archaic) Any large ship that is difficult to maneuver.
- A big (and possibly clumsy) person.
- A large structure with a dominating presence.
- 2019 February 5, Oliver Wainwright, “Super-tall, super-skinny, super-expensive: the 'pencil towers' of New York's super-rich”, in The Guardian:
- The sturdy trunk of Central Park Tower is rising nearby – a great glass hulk that will soon steal the crown for the most vertiginous residences on the planet.
- (bodybuilding) An excessively muscled person.
- large ship, difficult to maneuver
- 1602, William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, act ii, scene 3
- Light boats sail swift, though greater hulks draw deep.
- non-functioning, floating ship
- 1918, Katherine Mansfield, Prelude, as printed in Selected Stories, Oxford World's Classics (2002), paperback, page 83
- They could see the lighthouse shining on Quarantine Island, and the green lights on the old coal hulks.
- To remove the entrails of; to disembowel.
- to hulk a hare
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Beaumont and Fletcher to this entry?)