Meaning of HULK in English


I. ˈhəlk noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English hulke, from Old English hulc, from Medieval Latin holcas, hulca, from Greek holkas barge, trading vessel, from helkein to pull, drag, tow — more at sulcus

1. : ship ; specifically : a heavy ship of clumsy build

the colossal hulk was the Great Eastern, the forerunner of today's ocean liners — James Dugan

2. : one that is bulky or unwieldy

faced by a hulk of a man, well over six feet tall and professionally broad-shouldered — William Phillips b. 1878

towering hulks of two vast apartment houses — Lewis Mumford

the black hulks of the mountains across the bay — H.T.DeSa

3. obsolete : hull

her hulk painted over with sparkling vermilion — James Hayward


a. : the body of an old wrecked or dismantled ship unfit for sea service

for a clubhouse the boys used an abandoned hulk they found on the waterfront

b. : an abandoned wreck or shell

the hulks of British tanks rusting in the fields — J.A.Phillips

once-glittering halls were left empty hulks — Foreign Affairs

the moribund hulk of the Spanish Empire — J.H.Plumb

c. : a ship used as a prison

a celebrated lock picker … serving time in a prison hulk — Rufus Jarman

— usually used in plural

every prisoner sent to the hulks — Kenneth Roberts

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

intransitive verb

1. dialect England : to move lazily or ponderously

hulks up from his chair by the hearth — Emmett Gowen

2. : to appear impressively large or massive : bulk , loom

the smoking port and Vesuvius hulking beyond — William Sansom

a horned owl coasted into a perch on a dead tree stub, and it hulked there against the sky — Hugh Fosburgh

transitive verb

: to condemn to or lodge in a hulk

III. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: alteration of holk to hollow out — more at howk

dialect : disembowel

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.