AskDefine | Define lark

Dictionary Definition



1 North American yellow-breasted songbirds [syn: meadowlark]
2 small songbirds resembling larks [syn: pipit, titlark]
3 any of numerous predominantly Old World birds noted for their singing
4 any carefree episode [syn: escapade] v : play boisterously; "The children frolicked in the garden"; "the gamboling lambs in the meadows"; "The toddlers romped in the playroom" [syn: frolic, rollick, skylark, disport, sport, cavort, gambol, frisk, romp, run around, lark about]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /lɑː(r)k/, /lA:(r)k/,
  • Rhymes with: -ɑː(r)k

Etymology 1

From lawerce (late O.E. laferce), from a Proto-Germanic root laiw(a)rikon (cognates include Dutch leeuwerik, German Lerche), of unknown origin. Some O.E. and O.N. (lævirik) forms suggest a compound meaning "treason-worker," but there is no preserved folk tale that ties into this theory.


  1. Any of various small, singing passerine birds of the family Alaudidae.
  2. various resembling birds, usually groundliving, such as the meadowlark and titlark
  3. One who wakes early; one who is up with the larks.
Related terms
one who wakes early

Etymology 2

Origin uncertain, either
  • from (notably northern) English dialect lake/laik "to play" (c.1300, from leika "to play", as opposed to work), with intrusive -r- common in southern British dialect.
  • shortening of skylark (1809), sailors' slang "play rough in the rigging of a ship" because the common European larks were proverbial for high-flying; Dutch has a similar idea in speelvogel ('playbird', a person of markedly playful nature)


  1. romp, frolic, some fun.
  2. prank


  1. sport, engage in harmless pranking
  2. frolic, engage in carefree adventure
a bit of fun


Extensive Definition

Larks are passerine birds of the predominantly Old World family Alaudidae. Only one species, the Shore Lark, has spread to North America, where it is called the Horned Lark.
Larks are small terrestrial birds with often extravagant songs and display flights. This fact, combined with a willingness to expand into anthropogenic habitats — as long as these are not too intensively managed — has ensured larks a prominent place in literature and music (the skylark being eulogised in "The Lark Ascending" (1914) by Ralph Vaughan Williams, for example).
Larks nest on the ground, laying 2–6 speckled eggs. Like many ground birds, most lark species have long hind claws, which are thought to provide stability while standing.
Most larks are fairly dull in appearance. They feed on insects and seeds.
Larks symbolise happiness, hope, good fortune, freedom, joy, youth, creativity and a new day.

Species list in taxonomic order

See also


  • Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds

External links

lark in Arabic: قبرة
lark in Bulgarian: Чучулигови
lark in Catalan: Alaudidae
lark in German: Lerchen
lark in Spanish: Alaudidae
lark in Esperanto: Alaŭdedoj
lark in French: Alaudidae
lark in Ido: Alaudo
lark in Italian: Alaudidae
lark in Lithuanian: Vieversiniai
lark in Hungarian: Pacsirtafélék
lark in Marathi: चंडोल
lark in Dutch: Leeuweriken
lark in Japanese: ヒバリ科 (Sibley)
lark in Norwegian: Lerkefamilien
lark in Norwegian Nynorsk: Lerkefamilien
lark in Polish: Skowronki
lark in Portuguese: Cotovia
lark in Russian: Жаворонковые
lark in Sicilian: Alaudidae
lark in Finnish: Kiurut
lark in Swedish: Lärkor
lark in Turkish: Bayağı toygar
lark in Chinese: 百灵科

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Philomel, adventure, antic, bat, bender, binge, bout, bulbul, bust, canary, caper, carousal, carouse, cavort, celebrate, celebration, cuckoo, cut loose, debauch, drinking bout, eagle, escapade, feathered songster, fling, frolic, gambol, game, hell around, horseplay, jape, jollify, jolly, let go, let loose, let off steam, make merry, make whoopee, mavis, mischief, mockingbird, monkeyshine, nightingale, orgy, oriole, play, ploy, practical joke, prank, raise hell, randan, randy, revel, ringdove, rocket, roister, rollick, romp, see life, shenanigan, shenanigans, shines, singing bird, skylark, skyrocket, song sparrow, songbird, songster, sport, spree, step out, tear, thrush, tomfoolery, toot, trick, wanton, warbler, whoop it up, wingding
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