verb (used without object)
- Literary. to give heed or attention to what is said; listen.
verb (used with object)
- Archaic. to listen to; hear.
- archaic to listen to (something)
Old English heorcnian, a suffixed form of *heorcian, root of hark; from Proto-Germanic *hausjan (see hear). Harken is the usual spelling in U.S. and probably is better justified by etymology; hearken likely is from influence of hear.