- (Received Pronunciation) enPR: läk, IPA(key): /lɑːk/
- (General American) enPR: lärk, IPA(key): /lɑɹk/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɑː(ɹ)k
From Middle English larke, laverke, from Old English lāwerce, lǣwerce, lāuricæ, from Proto-Germanic *laiwarikǭ, *laiwazikǭ (compare dialectal West Frisian larts, Dutch leeuwerik, German Lerche), from *laiwaz (borrowed into Finnish leivo, Estonian lõo), of unknown ultimate origin with no known cognates outside of Germanic.
lark (plural larks)
- Any of various small, singing passerine birds of the family Alaudidae.
- Any of various similar-appearing birds, but usually ground-living, such as the meadowlark and titlark.
- (by extension) One who wakes early; one who is up with the larks.
- (species in Alaudidae): woodlark, skylark, magpie-lark, horned lark, sea lark, crested lark, shorelark
- To catch larks.
- to go larking
- lark on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- Alaudidae on Wikimedia Commons.Wikimedia Commons
- Alaudidae on Wikispecies.Wikispecies
Origin uncertain, either
- from a northern English dialectal term lake/laik (“to play”) (around 1300, from Old Norse leika (“to play (as opposed to work)”)), with an intrusive -r- as is common in southern British dialects; or
- a shortening of skylark (1809), sailors' slang, "play roughly in the rigging of a ship", because the common European larks were proverbial for high-flying; Dutch has a similar idea in speelvogel (“playbird, a person of markedly playful nature”).
lark (plural larks)
- A romp, frolic, some fun.
- 2019 November 25, ALEXIS C. MADRIGAL, “The Dangers of YouTube for Young Children”, in the Atlantic:
- What began as a lark has grown into something very, very big, inflating the company’s ambitions.
- A prank.
- 1913, George Bernard Shaw, “Act V”, in Pygmalion:
- DOOLITTLE. […] thanks to your silly joking, he leaves me a share in his Pre-digested Cheese Trust worth three thousand a year on condition that I lecture for his Wannafeller Moral Reform World League as often as they ask me […] .
HIGGINS. The devil he does! Whew! [Brightening suddenly] What a lark!
- skylark (in verb sense "play")
- To sport, engage in harmless pranking.
- To frolic, engage in carefree adventure.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
- “lark” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2019.
- Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield, Massachusetts, G.&C. Merriam Co., 1967