poking


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

poke 1

 (pōk)
v. poked, pok·ing, pokes
v.tr.
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.
v.intr.
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.
n.
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.
Idiom:
poke fun at
To ridicule in a mischievous manner.

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

poke 2

 (pōk)
n.
1. A projecting brim at the front of a bonnet.
2. A large bonnet having a projecting brim.

[From poke.]

poke 3

 (pōk)
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

 (pōk)
n.
Pokeweed.

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

po·ke 5

 (pō-kā′)
n.
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 ?
muttered Jo, slamming the stove door open, and poking vigorously among the cinders.
Mademoiselle was poking at a rusty stove that smoked a little and warmed the room indifferently.
In the way of movement and human life, there was the hasty rattle of a cab or coach, its driver protected by a waterproof cap over his head and shoulders; the forlorn figure of an old man, who seemed to have crept out of some subterranean sewer, and was stooping along the kennel, and poking the wet rubbish with a stick, in quest of rusty nails; a merchant or two, at the door of the post-office, together with an editor and a miscellaneous politician, awaiting a dilatory mail; a few visages of retired sea-captains at the window of an insurance office, looking out vacantly at the vacant street, blaspheming at the weather, and fretting at the dearth as well of public news as local gossip.
Poking and burrowing into the heaped-up rubbish in the corner, unfolding one and another document, and reading the names of vessels that had long ago foundered at sea or rotted at the wharves, and those of merchants never heard of now on 'Change, nor very readily decipherable on their mossy tombstones; glancing at such matters with the saddened, weary, half-reluctant interest which we bestow on the corpse of dead activity -- and exerting my fancy, sluggish with little use, to raise up from these dry bones an image of the old towns brighter aspect, when India was a new region, and only Salem knew the way thither -- I chanced to lay my hand on a small package, carefully done up in a piece of ancient yellow parchment.
Aunt Chloe sat back in her chair, and indulged in a hearty guffaw of laughter, at this witticism of young Mas'r's, laughing till the tears rolled down her black, shining cheeks, and varying the exercise with playfully slapping and poking Mas'r Georgey, and telling him to go way, and that he was a case--that he was fit to kill her, and that he sartin would kill her, one of these days; and, between each of these sanguinary predictions, going off into a laugh, each longer and stronger than the other, till George really began to think that he was a very dangerously witty fellow, and that it became him to be careful how he talked "as funny as he could.
One never tires of poking about in the dense woods that clothe all these lofty Neckar hills to their beguiling and impressive charm in any country; but German legends and fairy tales have given these an added charm.
They went about poking sticks into the sand, and when they found a soft place they went down on their knees and dug with their hands.
He was poking along through his ups and downs, and when he come to that place he went right along.
how do you think I can live poking by myself, I who have been always used till this winter to have Charlotte with me.
But when you're in the house don't go wandering and poking about.
After some poking about with this instrument, in the course of which his face assumed a variety of distracted expressions, Mr.
Herbert said from behind (at the same time poking me), "capitally.