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hock 1 (hŏk)
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n.
1.
a. The tarsal joint of the hind leg of certain quadrupeds, such as horses and dogs, corresponding to the human ankle but bending in the opposite direction.
b. A joint in the leg of a domestic fowl similar to the hock of a quadruped.
2. A small cut of meat, especially ham, from the front or hind leg directly above the foot.
tr.v. hocked, hock·ing, hocks
To disable by cutting the tendons of the hock; hamstring.

[Middle English hok, variant (perhaps originally arising in compounds such as hough sineue, hock sinew, Achilles tendon, hamstring, and hokschynes, literally "hock shins," ankles (meaning uncertain)) of hough, heel, hock, from Old English hōh, heel.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
hock 2 (hŏk)
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n.
Chiefly British
Rhine wine.

[Short for obsolete Hockamore, alteration of German Hochheimer, from Hochheim, a town of west-central Germany.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
hock 3 (hŏk) Slang
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tr.v. hocked, hock·ing, hocks
To pawn: hock a diamond ring.
n.
1. The state of being pawned: put the diamonds in hock.
2. The state of being in debt: thought we'd never get out of hock.

[From 19th century American slang in hock, in prison, in debt, from Dutch hok, pen, sty, kennel; akin to Frisian hok, narrow space, and probably of pre-Germanic substrate origin.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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