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 ?
Weiser harks back to ancient longings but chooses to realize them by scientific means: the dream of an infinitely deep space, hovering matter that moves in harmony, spherical tones from strange worlds.
Dalton's approach harks back to the lifestyle and diet of past generations that weren't hooked on soft drinks and oversize portions of calorie-laden foods.
In this time of movies weighed down with high-tech computer-generated special effects that encourage you to suspend your disbelief in return for jaw-dropping images that leave your gob well and truly smacked, it's refreshing to occasionally find a film that harks back to a bygone age.
But a sixth design,an altogether gentler and more shapely image of the squadron sweetheart which harks back to the days of the Memphis Belle and the Sally B,has also been given the go ahead.
The careful use of materials and details often harks back to historical forms and techniques of the past.
Rife with bombast and fueled on adrenaline, outrageous coyness, and shameless camp, it harks back to the best and the worst of the "Let's Camp Out" films.
The title harks back to its composer, Gyogy Ligeti, who once described his orchestral scores as "micropolyphonic." Its eight dancers, dressed in mauve by Holly Hynes and lit with dark mystery by Mark Stanley, are given choreography of sharp musicality and tough grace.
The $50- million-a-year subsidy harks back to the 1970s, when "alternative" energy sources were showered with handouts to little effect.
There is no doubt that Bocchi's posthumous fame harks back to the publication of his Symbolicarum Quaestionum ...
For its inspiration, it harks back to the iconic DS model of the 1950s - a car that revolutionised thinking over car design and made box designs of the time look old hat.
It's a joyful set of songs that harks back to his classic 1970s LPs.
In a plot that harks back to those creaky old monster movies of the 1950s, a meteorite crash-lands in the middle of a quiet American town, unleashing a mutating virus
Small details ground the video in its sociopolitical context: Graffiti on a construction barrier, for example, reads SUPPORT THE TURKISH DEATH FAST, an expression of solidarity with Turkish prisoners' hunger strikes that harks back to Northern Ireland's own prisoners' hunger strikes twenty years before.
It harks back to a much slower, steadier pace of life."
picture harks back to February 1991, when the festivities were in full swing at the newly-opened Barnardo's Centre for women and children in Neville Street, Cardiff.