hark back

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Related to hark back: parcel out

hark(en) back to (something)

1. To cause one to think of or recall something. (The spelling "harken" is actually a variant of the archaic word "hearken," which originally meant "to listen" but is more commonly used in place of "hark" in this idiomatic phrase.) That song harkens back to an earlier time in my life.
2. To have originated or begun as something. You know, our modern cell phones hark back to those old rotary phones you like to make fun of.
3. To revisit or recall something mentioned earlier. Before we get too upset, let's all harken back to the real reason we're here today.
See also: back, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Mr Anderson's Labour Party has been in Government for over 11 years now, so why hark back to the past?
These two-seater sports hark back to the 50s and 60s and open the Smart product offensive.
The map of those years follows the contours of half a dozen major works, from Bird in Space, 1989, the sizable homage in string to Brancusi's 1928 sculpture of the same title, to the tautened-chain installations that butt in on the architecture they cling to (e.g., Chained form on the diagonal, interrupted, 1990), to the 1991 "Corridor" works with their brassy primary colors enlivening passages of unpredictable and highly eccentric forms, and finally to Park, 1996, the fallen tree supporting exotic plant life, which may hark back to Larner's petri cultures.
Their preview ads hark back to 1966 and ponder if this can be Enger-land's year to put one over the Jerries again - as long as there's no penalties, eh?
The design is intended to hark back to the romantic era of flying in the 1930s and '40s when, as in Casablanca, travel was glamorous and exciting.
But in a hark back to early days, the new sandwich-style bread, launched this week, will be wrapped in a revolutionary paper-like covering rather than the plastic which has become more familiar.
Poster expert Richard Barclay said: "They really are pieces of art that hark back to a golden era of rail travel." The sale in New York is on March 31.
Nevertheless some of the rhythms are dated and the attempt to hark back to the Wild West grates very quickly.
In the old city of romance he seemed to hark back to the New Romantics with styles and make-up reminiscent of 80s fashion peacock Steve Strange.
They hark back to those sculptures mounted on the outside of cathedrals, at once participating in and standing above the community, as if to offer moral instruction.
Van der Laan's courtyards and halls - with their concrete floors, earth-rubbed brick walls, and skeletal timber furniture - hark back across time to some stable origin of things.
The habit may hark back to a primitive instinct, Repasky speculates: Egg-laying woodpeckers can avoid a risky trip to the forest floor by hiding their calcium supplements in trees.
The range of new British Airways uniforms -unveiled yesterday -which hark back to the pioneering days of aviation