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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ ham hocks
▪ Finding Balance Often a horse will try to find his balance by holding his head high rather than finding balance on his hocks.
▪ I could always get another horn out of hock and Esmonde stayed open to I.0 a.m.
▪ If during the examination the vet is concerned about the hocks, for example, I say to feel free to take more.
▪ She turned Midnight on his hocks and went away at a canter.
▪ The grass was lush green and came up to the st'lyan's hocks.
▪ The horse finds balance by bringing his hocks underneath him and also uses this means for brakes and acceleration.
▪ The horse must be taught to lower his head and find balance on his hocks.
▪ This stiffness prevents the horse from bending and bringing his hocks underneath him.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Hock \Hock\, v. t.

  1. To disable by cutting the tendons of the hock; to hamstring; to hough.

  2. To pawn; as, to hock one's jewelry.


Hock \Hock\, n. [So called from Hochheim, in Germany.] A Rhenish wine, of a light yellow color, either sparkling or still. The name is also given indiscriminately to all Rhenish wines.


Hock \Hock\, n.

  1. The state of having been pawned; usually preceded by in; as, all her jewelry is in hock.

  2. The state of being in debt; as, it took him two years to get out of hock.


Hock \Hock\, Hough \Hough\, n. [ AS. h?h the heel; prob. akin to Icel. h[=a]sinn hock sinew, Dan. hasc, G. hechse, h["a]chse, LG. hacke, D. hak; also to L. coxa hip (cf. Cuisses), Skr. kaksha armpit. [root]12. Cf. Heel.]

    1. The joint in the hind limb of quadrupeds between the leg and shank, or tibia and tarsus, and corresponding to the ankle in man.

    2. A piece cut by butchers, esp. in pork, from either the front or hind leg, just above the foot.

  1. The popliteal space; the ham.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"joint in the hind leg of a horse," mid-15c., earlier hockshin (late 14c.), from Old English hohsinu "sinew of the heel, Achilles' tendon," literally "heel sinew," from hoh "heel," from Proto-Germanic *hanhaz (cognates: German Hachse "hock," Old English hæla "heel"), from PIE *kenk- (3) "heel, bend of the knee."


"Rhenish wine," 1620s, shortening of Hockamore, from German Hochheimer, "(wine) of Hochheim," town on the Main where wine was made; sense extended to German white wines in general.


"pawn, debt," 1859, American English, in hock, which meant both "in debt" and "in prison," from Dutch hok "jail, pen, doghouse, hutch, hovel." The verb is 1878, from the noun.When one gambler is caught by another, smarter than himself, and is beat, then he is in hock. Men are only caught, or put in hock, on the race-tracks, or on the steamboats down South. ... Among thieves a man is in hock when he is in prison. [G.W. Matsell, "Vocabulum," 1859]


Etymology 1 n. A Rhenish wine, of a light yellow color, either sparkling or still, from the Hochheim region, but often applied to all Rhenish wines. Etymology 2

n. 1 The tarsal joint of a digitigrade quadruped, such as a horse, pig or dog. 2 meat from that part of a food animal. vb. (context transitive English) To disable by cutting the tendons of the hock; to hamstring; to hough. Etymology 3

n. 1 pawn#Noun, obligation as collateral for a loan. 2 debt. 3 installment purchase. 4 prison. vb. (senseid en pawned)(context transitive colloquial English) To leave with a pawnbroker as security for a loan. Etymology 4

alt. (context US English) To bother; to pester; to annoy incessantly vb. (context US English) To bother; to pester; to annoy incessantly

  1. n. any of several white wines from the Rhine River valley in Germany (`hock' is British usage) [syn: Rhine wine, Rhenish]

  2. tarsal joint of the hind leg of hoofed mammals; corresponds to the human ankle

  3. v. leave as a guarantee in return for money; "pawn your grandfather's gold watch" [syn: pawn, soak]

  4. disable by cutting the hock

Hock (wine)

Hock is a British term for German white wine; sometimes it refers to white wine from the Rhine region and sometimes to all German white wine.

It is short for the obsolete word "hockamore", which is an alteration of "Hochheimer", derived from the name of the town of Hochheim am Main in Germany.

The term seems to have been in use in the 17th century, initially for white wines from the middle Rhine, but in the 18th century it came to be used for any German white wine sold in Britain.

It seems probable that Queen Victoria's visit to Hochheim and its vineyards during harvest time in 1850 contributed to the continued use of the word "hock".


Hock may refer to:

Common meanings:

  • Hock (wine), a type of wine
  • Hock (anatomy), part of an animal's leg
  • To leave an item with a pawnbroker


  • Hock (surname)
  • Richard "Hock" Walsh (1948-1999), Canadian blues singer

Other uses:

  • A type of wine bottle used primarily for German or Alsatian wine
Hock (surname)

Hock is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

  • Adam Hock (born 1964), American businessman
  • Christian Hock (born 1970), German footballer and manager
  • Dee Hock (born 1929), American businessman
  • Gareth Hock (born 1983), English rugby league player
  • Hans Henrich Hock (born 1938), American linguist
  • Robert Hock (born 1973), German ice hockey player
Hock (anatomy)

The hock, or gambrel, is the joint between the tarsal bones and tibia of a digitigrade or unguligrade quadrupedal mammal, such as a horse, cat, or dog. This joint may include articulations between tarsal bones and the fibula in some species (such as cats), while in others the fibula has been greatly reduced and is only found as a vestigial remnant fused to the distal portion of the tibia (as in horses) . It is the anatomical homologue of the ankle of the human foot. While homologous joints occur in other tetrapods, the term is generally restricted to mammals, particularly long-legged domesticated species.

Usage examples of "hock".

Despite his bawling like a pig with a cut hock, no one did anything foolish, for which Liu Han was heartily glad.

Clio followed Hocking down the hatch in the flight-deck floor, she glimpsed Voris jumping up from her seat.

Here, as Captain Hocking squired her around, was the ship to leave all others in the dust.

From behind the row of crew standing at the back, she saw Captain Hocking and Commander Singh conferring on the semicircular platform in front of the viewports.

Clio pushed her way forward enough to see Hocking approach a lectern that was just now rising from the floor.

There, Hocking, Singh, and Voris hunched frantic at stations, as the scramble of voices piped over comm, and the dock slid by the viewports in a slow crawl.

Tandy and Licht broke off what they were saying as she and Hocking walked in.

Ashe hurried them along, guiding Hocking with a palm in his back, pushing him to keep pace.

Those that survived went back to the streets, leaving their children in the tender care of Jem Hocking and his wife.

See Jem Hocking in the street and a man might take him for a prosperous farmer up from the Vale of Kent.

The sight of the money, even a humble penny, was all the reassurance Hocking needed.

He glanced a last time at the text on the wall and wondered if Jem Hocking had ever considered the truth of it.

Meaning, Sharpe thought, that Hocking persecuted more than the workhouse inmates.

Pennies only, but pennies added up, and Hocking received them in the taproom where they vanished into a leather bag while a cowed white-haired clerk made notes in a ledger.

The public funds were fourpence three farthing a day for each pauper out of which Jem Hocking managed to purloin twopence, while the rest was grudgingly spent on stale bread, onions, barley and oatmeal.