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hark(en) back to something

1. to have originated as something; to have started out as something. (Harken is an older word meaning "pay heed to.") The word icebox harks back to refrigerators that were cooled by ice. Our modern breakfast cereals hark back to the porridge and gruel of our ancestors.
2. to remind one of something. Seeing a horse and buggy in the park harks back to the time when horses drew milk wagons. Sally says it harkens back to the time when everything was delivered by horse-drawn wagons.
See also: back, hark

hark back to something

to be similar to something from the past His music harks back to Elvis Presley and other 1950s influences.
See also: back, hark

hark back

Return to a previous point, as in Let us hark back briefly to my first statement. This expression originally alluded to hounds retracing their course when they have lost their quarry's scent. It may be dying out. [First half of 1800s]
See also: back, hark
References in periodicals archive ?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY - the MINI, above and below, is the subject of a psychedelic colour job that harks back to the 1960s
Despite a measure of abjection comparable to Cecily Brown's or Barnaby Furnas's, and a faux-naif crudeness reminiscent of Brian Calvin or Christoph Ruckhaberle, Schutz also harks back to older artists like Jorg Immendorf and Philip Guston, and further to Gauguin and van Gogh, Erich Heckel and Paula Modersohn-Becker.
Even its name harks back to a more leisurely time, when Sundays were spent visiting friends, and families always sat down for dinner together.
The Dia Salon Project is particularly impressive because it harks back to a centuries-old tradition of sharing art in a social setting.
Repeated features include narrow bands bordering shapes and a horizontal rectangle reaching from edge to edge that harks back to Thompson's 1996 "Block" paintings.
The church's design harks back to the old California missions, with a red tile roof and arched breezeways circling the building.
In all, the addition of such a sumptuous, evening-length ballet to the Boston repertoire harks back to an even older tradition.
Wood grain as a counterpoint to the painterly gesture (as in Mud, 2002) harks back to Munch; and the tension between declarative flatness and quasi-illusionistic space is a staple of abstraction.
Although the technology is cutting edge, the Wells Fargo site harks back to the bank's roots in the hardscrabble days of California's Gold Rush, including the promise, ``Wells Fargo Pays to Put Them Away
Roses on Blue, 2002, harks back to the naive quality of Katz's early collages, combining the affable charm and lyric buffoonery of a classic animation still.
The prospect of political activists standing watch at polls harks back to 1988, when Republicans in Orange County posted security guards at 20 heavily Latino precincts.
We see this tendency already at play in China: The Arts--The People, a Travel Log, 1985, where a new documentary sensibility emerges that at once harks back to Ottinger's early aspirations to pursue a career in ethnology and anticipates her '9os nonfiction films: Countdown, 1991, a meditation on German reunification; and Exile Shanghai, 1997, a study of Jewish emigre society in 1940s China.
Gregor's Room," of course, harks back to Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" (1916).
A transitional work, it harks back to what we find in the best of Albers' photographs, such as the wonderful Roads, Paynauntal, VII 30, 1930 - a study of a rural fence made of rough-cut boards and the shadow it casts on a dirt road.
The range of new British Airways uniforms -unveiled yesterday -which hark back to the pioneering days of aviation