From Middle English huske (“husk”), from Old English *husuc, *hosuc (“little covering, sheath”), diminutive of hosu (“pod, shell, husk”), from Proto-Germanic *husōn, *hausaz (“covering, shell, leggings”), from Proto-Indo-European *kawəs- / kawes- (“cover”). More at hose, -ock.
husk (plural husks)
- The dry, leafy or stringy exterior of certain vegetables or fruits, which must be removed before eating the meat inside
- A coconut has a very thick husk.
- Any form of useless, dried-up, and subsequently worthless exterior of something
- His attorney was a dried-up husk of a man, ready for the grave, with one foot already inside and another on a banana peel.
- The supporting frame of a run of millstones.
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- (transitive) To remove husks from.
Partly imitative, partly from Etymology 1, above, influenced by husky.
- (transitive) To say huskily, to utter in a husky voice.
- The French captain did not immediately respond; he looked at his men with a miserable expression [...]; still he hesitated, drooped, and finally husked, "Je me rends," with a look still more wretched. — Naomi Novik, "His Majesty's Dragon"
The Australian Pocket Oxford Dictionary, 2nd Ed., Melbourne, Oxford University Press, 1978