- 1 [with object] Jab or prod (someone or something), especially with one’s finger: 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.More 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.More 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.
- 1.4Thrust (something) in a particular direction: I poked my head around the door to see what was going on she poked her tongue outMore 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.
- 1.5 [no object] Protrude and be or become visible: she had wisps of gray 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.
- 2 [no object] • informal Move slowly; dawdle: I was poking along, my vision blocked by that curtain of sleetMore example sentences
- A Cadillac with Kansas plates is poking along ahead of me.
- I'm still poking along at mere bytes a second, but technicians are working day and night to get my connection working again.
- But even if you're still poking along on dialup, they're worth it.
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.
- 2 (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.
- 3 • informal , chiefly British 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.
better than a poke in the eye (with a sharp stick)
- • humorous Welcome or pleasing, even if other circumstances might be better: 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.More example sentences
- 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.More 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.More 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.’
- Look around a place, typically in search of something.More example sentences
- 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.More 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.