- 1 [with object] Jab or prod (someone or something) with one’s finger or a sharp object: he poked Benny in the ribs and pointed [no object]: they sniffed, felt, and poked at everything they boughtMore example sentences
- It only seemed like I had been asleep for two minutes when I was poked at and I nearly jumped out of my skin before I realized our car ride was over.
- If people are poked with a sharp enough stick, like the threat of a large-scale war, they'll respond.
- We've been poking him with a sharp stick, and if you do that long enough, you have to either shoot the dog or get bit.
- 1.1(On the social networking site Facebook) attract the attention of (another member of the site) by using the ‘poke’ facility.More example sentences
- They report that the new Facebook application will offer deeper integration with your phone for better all-around poking.
- She has been arrested for Facebook "poking" a woman who had filed a legal order of protection against her.
- When a user is poked an icon appears on their Facebook homepage, with the option to 'remove poke' or 'poke back'.
- 1.2Prod and stir (a fire) with a poker to make it burn more fiercely: she drew the curtains then poked the fire into a blazeMore example sentences
- The girl threw a log on the fire, and poked the embers into flames.
- With an exasperated sigh, she stood and sat by the fire, poking the embers absent-mindedly with a stick.
- Calomar had opened the door to the wood burning stove, and was poking at the fire with a metal poker he had found.
- 1.3Make (a hole) in something by prodding or jabbing at it: don’t forget to poke holes in the dough to allow steam to escapeMore example sentences
- She poked a few more holes in the belt and then cinched it around her waist.
- Alternatively, poke holes in the can and throw it out attached to a length of string - you'll need to retrieve it to keep poking more holes in it as the contents disappear.
- You've poked more holes into what's left of my ship, and I don't want to wait around here for whoever may come looking.
- 2 [with object and adverbial of direction] Thrust (something, such as one’s head) in a particular direction: I poked my head around the door to see what was going onMore example sentences
- The doctor, a balding man with a pitted red nose, poked his head around the doorframe.
- Follow this course in life and your nose'll never poke itself beyond a book.
- The goat stands on his hind legs, embraces the glass, and pokes his long pointed tongue into the foam.
- 2.1 [no object, with adverbial] Protrude and be visible: she had wisps of grey hair poking out from under her bonnetMore example sentences
- Wiry white and grey hairs poked out of his thick, flabby ears and his blue eyes were shoved deep into this rough-skinned face.
- We cut to the next scene, where he is now under a large mound of sand, now with only the top of his head visible, poking through the side of the mound.
- A widow of several years, she wears a green, yellow and orange headscarf, from which black and grey curls poke out.
nounBack to top
- 1An act of poking someone or something: she gave the fire a pokeMore example sentences
- The main purpose of my wee trip was to see my Uncle John and give him a poke and prod prior to his heart surgery.
- I gave the house sale a good poke and prod today and it sounds as if the urgency of our situation has got through.
- Her mom gave her a poke and gestured to the table.
- 3 [mass noun] British • informal Power or acceleration in a car: I expect you’d prefer something with a bit more pokeMore example sentences
- Yes it provides a bit of poke, but it would be nice if this 1.6l engine could provide more than its quoted 95PS.
- Breakaway is sharper on the exit of a bend but that has as much to with extra poke and grippier tyres as it does with the suspension.
- It is compact, though, and still looks terrific, and the new version has a lot of poke.
- 4 (also poke bonnet) A woman’s bonnet with a projecting brim or front, popular especially in the early 19th century.More example sentences
- A Pennsylvania Amish in a poke bonnet goes next, happy as a bug.
be better than a poke in the eye with a sharp (or Australian burnt) stick
- • humorous Be welcome or pleasing: I got a tax rebate—not a huge amount but better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stickMore example sentences
- He's better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick.
- Getting hold of that is certainly better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick.
- Not a huge amount but better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.
poke fun at
- Tease or make fun of: this film pokes fun at Stalinism and the army which supported itMore example sentences
mock, make fun of, laugh at, make jokes about, ridicule, jeer at, sneer at, deride, treat with contempt, treat contemptuously, scorn, laugh to scorn, scoff at, pillory, be sarcastic about, satirize, lampoon, burlesque, parody, tease, taunt, rag, make a monkey of, chaff, jibe atBritish • informal wind up, take the mickey out ofBritish • informal, • dated twit, rotBritish • vulgar slang take the piss (out of)• dated make sport of• archaic joke, quiz, flout
- I had been out to since sixth grade, not to my family of course, and had had my share of being teased and poked fun at but a few words dropped here and there and it was settled fast.
- A send-up should be smarter than the films it pokes fun at, but that isn't the case here.
- My middle name smacks of big slobbery dog jokes and yet my last name was the one kids poked fun at in school.
poke one's nose into
- • informal Take an intrusive interest in: it’s not like you to poke your nose into areas that don’t concern youMore example sentences
- Also we tend not to get involved in some of the ‘intra-blog battles’ that rage across the web but they can be illuminating sometimes and are often fun to poke your nose into now and then.
- It's also possible to go round the old manor house, to poke your nose into all the barns and have a look at the old farm equipment.
- He had poked his nose into all her private affairs from the start, so why shouldn't she return the compliment?
take a poke at someone
- • informal Hit or punch someone.More example sentences
- There are advantages and disadvantages to this; the advantage is that, done in a crowded situation, you don't have to be the immediate suspect if you take a poke at someone whose back is turned.
- But, like his twin before, he too took a poke at me, which just barely missed as I ducked behind mom, who was frowning in disapproval.
- Plus, there are these guys I had a bit of an altercation with last week who'd love to take a poke at me, and I ain't about to help them out.
- Criticize someone: he took a poke at the tournament’s sponsors, a cigarette companyMore example sentences
- He also took a poke at Panday's popular statement of giving his blood, sweat and tears to build the UNC.
- And of course I couldn't resist taking a poke at Justice Moore and his Ten Commandments monument.
- She shows depth on the inspirational ‘Get Up Again,’ and the grown-up ‘Our Child,’ and takes a poke at her detractors on ‘You Will Never.’
- • informal Look around a place, typically in search of something: she poked about in the cupboard for a minute or twoMore example sentences
search, hunt, rummage (around), forage, scrabble, grub, root about/around, scavenge, fish about/around, rake around, feel around, grope around, nose around, ferret (about/around); pry into, ransack, rake through, sift through, go through, shuffle through, rifle through, scour, comb, explore, probeBritish • informal rootle (around)
- I roll over and hear our daughter poking around the house in search of dyed eggs.
- Vittorio spies on Frank as he pokes around the parlor, searching for a hidden compartment.
- Ramsey said search teams looked in burrows and sometimes poked around with sticks.
Middle English: origin uncertain; compare with Middle Dutch and Middle Low German poken, of unknown ultimate origin. The noun dates from the late 18th century.
- 1A bag or small sack: he fished out a poke of crisps from under the counterMore example sentences
- More exotic Scots words would include stoorsooker pokes, for vacuum cleaner bags and tea-pokies for tea bags.
a pig in a poke
- see pig.
Middle English: from Old Northern French poke, variant of Old French poche 'pocket'. Compare with pouch.