hark(en) back to (something)

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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. © 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 ?
Apple's sultry voice and troubled phrasing gave her songs a precocious gravity, and so did her piano-centered melodies, which harked back to standards and blues.
Buoyed along by a lot of lofty rhetoric about the human condition, his program harked back to a position he had advanced in the 1982 Biennale when he served as curator for one of its two large international shows, "Art as Art." As a leitmotiv for the 1995 Biennale, a boring re-hash of a nonissue - abstraction versus figuration - seemed more regressive than relevant.
Yet Schumacher (left) was able to crack a joke that harked back to the year he crashed into the back of David Coulthard, ripping off a front wheel in Spa's infamous spray.
He harked back to his party's 1980s self-help philosophy which dumped thousands on the scrap-heap as he launched their Glasgow East poll campaign with candidate Davena Rankin, pictured.
The Stepmother, as performed by Jose Zamorano, harked back to Widow Simone in La Fille Mal Gardee but did not radiate her rustic charm.
I am disgusted that Ashley Cole's agent claimed the Premier League's decision to fine him pounds 100,000 "harked back to the master and servant working relationship of 100 years ago".