hark back to

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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. © 2022 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 ?
He said party grandees Lord Kinnock and Lord Hattersley - the former leader and deputy leader, who have both voiced support for Ed Miliband - wanted to "hark back to a previous age".
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In fact, Counterpoint is the first European showing of the World Trade Center scheme and the Ground Zero masterplan and without doubt they stylistically hark back to Libeskind's symbolic and historical interpretation of Berlin's cityscape.
This show featured eight of Ford's medium-size and large paintings that at first seem to mimic Audubon prints and their ancestors, which hark back to scientific illustrations and plein air topographical drawings of landscapes and seaports.
Newark owes its success in accommodating capacity, in part, to the existence of the monorail and to "bold stroke ideas" that hark back to the 1960's, according to Taylor, when the airport was designed in a unified plan.
However this correspondence seems to come from a small but vocal minority who hark back to a time when they held the power of people's private lives and are hardly representative of modern Ireland.
The Orlando Sentinel opined that "the ferocity of insults hurled across party lines has steadily intensified to such hateful levels that many voters have been searching for alternative political leadership." Like many complaints about modern America, these laments hark back to a more mannered, moderate, modulated era, when candidates touted their own virtues, not their opponents' vices.
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Here we hark back to the good old days of side-scrolling platforming, but what a world this is.
BRIDGEND AM Carwyn Jones, widely tipped as a future First Minister, last night told Labour supporters the party needs clear dividing lines from the Conservatives but must do more than hark back to the days of Margaret Thatcher.
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Its swooping bonnet and lack of windscreen or roof hark back to the 300 SLR, which Moss drove to victory in the Mille Miglia endurance race in Italy in 1955.