- (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 definitive 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
- bushlark (Mirafra spp.)
- crested lark (Galerida cristata)
- calandra lark (Melanocorypha spp.)
- day lark
- happy as a lark
- horned lark (Eremophila alpestris)
- lark bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys)
- lark sparrow (Chondestes grammacus)
- lark's-heel (Tropaeolum majus)
- lark's tongue
- larkspur (Consolida spp., Delphinium spp.)
- magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca)
- rise with the lark
- sand lark (Alaudala rayta)
- sea lark (Anthus petrosus et al.)
- shorelark (Eremophila spp.)
- skylark (Alauda arvensis)
- titlark (Anthus pratensis)
- up with the lark
- woodlark (Lullula arborea)
- To catch larks (type of bird).
- 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.
- 1838, Boz [pseudonym; Charles Dickens], chapter 43, in Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy’s Progress. […], volume (please specify |volume=I, II, or III), London: Richard Bentley, […], OCLC 558204586:
- ‘Ha! ha!’ laughed Master Bates, ‘what a lark that would be, wouldn’t it, Fagin? I say, how the Artful would bother ’em wouldn’t he?’
- 2011 August 4, Stephen Holden, “Stoned Archive: Wild Ride Of the Merry Pranksters”, in The New York Times, ISSN 0362-4331:
- Thanks partly to Tom Wolfe’s raised-eyebrow account, “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test,” that bohemian lark has been retrospectively hailed as the flash point of the emerging hippie counterculture.
- 2018 November, 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.
- Douglas Harper (2001–2021), “lark”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield, Massachusetts, G.&C. Merriam Co., 1967