Open main menu




  • enPR: no͝ok, IPA(key): /nʊk/
  • (obsolete) enPR: no͞ok, IPA(key): /nuːk/[1]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʊk

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English noke, nok (nook, corner, angle), of uncertain origin. Cognate with Scots neuk, nuk (corner, angle of a square, angular object). Perhaps from Old English hnoc, hnocc (hook, angle), from Proto-Germanic *hnukkaz, *hnukkô (a bend), from Proto-Indo-European *knewg- (to turn, press), from Proto-Indo-European *ken- (to pinch, press, bend). If so, then also related to Scots nok (small hook), Norwegian dialectal nok, nokke (hook, angle, bent object), Danish nokke (hook), Swedish nock (ridge), Faroese nokki (crook), Icelandic hnokki (hook), Dutch nok (ridge), Low German Nocke (tip), Old Norse hnúka (to bend, crouch), Old English ġehnycned (drawn, pinched, wrinkled).


nook (plural nooks)

  1. A small corner formed by two walls; an alcove.
    Synonyms: alcove, ancone, recess
    There was a small broom for sweeping ash kept in the nook between the fireplace bricks and the wall.
  2. A hidden or secluded spot; a secluded retreat.
    The back of the used book shop was one of her favorite nooks; she could read for hours and no one would bother her or pester her to buy.
  3. A recess, cove or hollow.
    Synonym: niche
  4. (historical) An English unit of land area, originally ¼ of a yardland but later 12½ or 20 acres.
    Synonym: fardel
    • a. 1634, W. Noye, The Complete Lawyer, 57:
      You must note, that two Fardells of Land make a Nooke of Land, and two Nookes make halfe a Yard of Land.
    • 1903, English Dialectical Dictionary, volume IV, page 295:
      Nook, an old legal term for 12½ acres of land; still in use at Alston.
    • 1968, November 9, The Economist, page 2:
      They poured their wine by the aume or the fust, and cut their cloth by the goad—not to be confused with the gawd, which was a measure of steel. Their nook was not cosy; it covered 20 acres.
  5. (chiefly Northern England, archaic) A corner of a piece of land; an angled piece of land, especially one extending into other land.
    • 1777, Joseph Nicolson; Richard Burn, “[Appendix.] No. XXVIII. Penrith Boundary on the Side of Caterlen.”, in The History and Antiquities of the Counties of Westmorland and Cumberland. [...] In Two Volumes, volume II, London: Printed for W[illiam] Strahan; and T[homas] Cadell, [], OCLC 1018389832, pages 546–547:
      The ancient bounds of the cow paſture of Penrith, [...] and then from the ſaid Old Dyke end, alongſt Plumpton Dyke Eaſt over Petterel unto Plumpton park nuke, otherwiſe called Plumpton nuke; [...]
    • 1827, John Hodgson, “Morpeth Deanery”, in A History of Northumberland, in Three Parts, part II, volume I, Newcastle upon Tyne: Printed by Edw[ard] Walker, for J[ohn] B[owyer] Nichols, [et al.], OCLC 23438627, footnote b, page 2:
      The bounder beginneth at the east nuke of the Carter, and from thence extendeth eastward upon the height of the edge to Robscleugh Score, and from thence to Phillip's cross, so to the Spittopnuke, from thence to Greenlaw, so to the height of the Brown Hartlaw, and from thence along the high street to the nuke of the Blakelaw, and from thence to Hemmier's Well, where Ridsdale and Cookdale meet, all weh is a bounder against Scotland.
Alternative formsEdit
  • (corner of a piece of land): nuke
  • (unit of area): See fardel (½ nook), see acre (various fractions & for further subdivisions)
Derived termsEdit
Related termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Clipping of tanuki.


nook (plural nooks)

  1. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) (furry jargon) A tanuki; a raccoon dog.


  1. ^ John Walker (1824) A critical pronouncing dictionary[1], page 415