Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia.
Related to poking: poking around

poke 1

v. poked, pok·ing, pokes
1. To push or jab at, as with a finger or an arm; prod.
2. To make (a hole or pathway, for example) by or as if by prodding, elbowing, or jabbing: I poked my way to the front of the crowd.
3. To push; thrust: A seal poked its head out of the water.
4. To stir (a fire) by prodding the wood or coal with a poker or stick.
5. Slang To strike; punch.
1. To make thrusts or jabs, as with a stick or poker.
2. To pry or meddle; intrude: poking into another's business.
3. To search or look curiously in a desultory manner: poked about in the desk.
4. To proceed in a slow or lazy manner; putter: just poked along all morning.
5. To thrust forward; appear: The child's head poked from under the blankets.
1. A push, thrust, or jab.
2. Slang A punch or blow with the fist: a poke in the jaw.
3. One who moves slowly or aimlessly; a dawdler.
poke fun at
To ridicule in a mischievous manner.

[Middle English poken, probably from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch.]

poke 2

1. A projecting brim at the front of a bonnet.
2. A large bonnet having a projecting brim.

[From poke.]

poke 3

n. Chiefly Southern US
A sack; a bag.

[Middle English, probably from Old North French; see pocket.]
Word History: A pig in a poke is a colorful vernacular expression used to describe something offered in a manner that conceals its true nature or value. Naturally, a buyer cannot inspect the pig if it is covered by a poke—that is, a bag or sack. The word poke meaning "bag" is not confined to just the American South—in many parts of Scotland, poke bag is still used of a little paper bag for carrying purchases like candy. Poke first appears in English in the 1200s and probably comes from Old North French, the northern dialect of Old French. The Old North French word in turn is probably of Germanic origin and is related to words like Icelandic poki, "bag." Poke has several relatives within English. The word pocket comes from Middle English poket, meaning "pouch, small bag," which in turn comes from Anglo-Norman pokete, a diminutive of Old North French poke. Pouche, a variant form of Old North French poke, is the source of the English word pouch.

poke 4


[Short for dialectal pocan, of Virginia Algonquian origin; akin to puccoon.]

po·ke 5

A Hawaiian salad or appetizer traditionally consisting of cubed raw fish, often yellowfin tuna, that is marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil, and mixed with diced onions, sesame seeds, and ginger.

[Hawaiian English, from Hawaiian poke, to cut crosswise into pieces, a slice.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.poking - a sharp hand gesture (resembling a blow)poking - a sharp hand gesture (resembling a blow); "he warned me with a jab with his finger"; "he made a thrusting motion with his fist"
gesture - motion of hands or body to emphasize or help to express a thought or feeling
References in classic literature ?
You see, it does take energy to give a fellow a poking.
At last, in my despair, I saw a little door in the roof, and on poking it open, a red eye appeared, and a beery voice said.
We had a charming time poking about the ruins, the vaults where the monster tun is, and the beautiful gardens made by the elector long ago for his English wife.
Herbert said from behind (at the same time poking me), "capitally.
Herbert said from behind (again poking me), "massive and concrete.
But by industrious poking he got us now and again--cruel, scraping jabs with the end of the stick that raked off the hide and hair.
He began poking again, and caught me a painful blow on the shoulder.
The old man made no answer and for a long while could not understand what he was asked, though his neighbours amused themselves by poking and shaking him.
They began poking the commissariat clerk and whispering something to him.
It is like a sheep-dog, always running backwards and forwards, poking into the most out-of-the-way corners, now climbing at a run some steep hummock of the down, and now leisurely going miles about to escape an ant-hill; and all the time (here, by the way, ends the sheep-dog) it is stopping to gossip with rillets vagabond as itself, or loitering to bedeck itself with flowers.
Ultimately they brought us up with the jibboom of a Dutch brig poking through our spanker - nothing worse.