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See also: Hank



Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse hǫnk, hank; akin to Old English hangian, "to hang". First Known Use: 14th century.



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hank (plural hanks)

  1. A coil or loop of something, especially twine, yarn, or rope
  2. (nautical) A ring or shackle that secures a staysail to its stay and allows the sail to glide smoothly up and down.
  3. (Ulster) doubt, difficulty
  4. (Ulster) mess, tangle
  5. A rope or withe for fastening a gate.
  6. (obsolete) hold; influence
    • Bishop Sanderson
      When the devil hath got such a hank over him.


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hank (third-person singular simple present hanks, present participle hanking, simple past and past participle hanked)

  1. (transitive) To form into hanks.
  2. (transitive, UK, dialect) To fasten with a rope, as a gate.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Wright to this entry?)