Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various chiefly Old World birds of the family Alaudidae, especially the skylark, having a sustained, melodious song.
  • n. Any of several similar birds, such as the meadowlark.
  • n. A carefree or spirited adventure.
  • n. A harmless prank.
  • intransitive v. To engage in spirited fun or merry pranks.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A romp, frolic, some fun.
  • n. A prank.
  • v. To sport, engage in harmless pranking.
  • v. To frolic, engage in carefree adventure.
  • n. Any of various small, singing passerine birds of the family Alaudidae.
  • n. Any of various similar-appearing birds, but usually ground-living, such as the meadowlark and titlark.
  • n. One who wakes early; one who is up with the larks.
  • v. To catch larks.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A frolic; a jolly time.
  • intransitive v. To sport; to frolic.
  • n. Any one numerous species of singing birds of the genus Alauda and allied genera (family Alaudidæ). They mostly belong to Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa. In America they are represented by the shore larks, or horned larks, of the genus Otocoris. The true larks have holaspidean tarsi, very long hind claws, and, usually, dull, sandy brown colors.
  • intransitive v. To catch larks.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A small oscine passerine bird of the family Alaudidæ.
  • n. A bird like or likened to a lark, but not one of the Alaudidæ: with a distinguishing prefix: as, the titlark, meadow-lark, bunting-lark, bushlark, horse-lark, etc. Such birds are chiefly the titlarks or pipits (see Anthus), and various kinds of finches and buntings.
  • n. A kind of sandpiper.
  • To catch or hunt larks.
  • n. A merry or hilarious adventure; a jovial prank or frolic; sport: as, to go on a lark.
  • To frolic; make sport; do anything in a sportive haphazard way.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of numerous predominantly Old World birds noted for their singing
  • v. play boisterously
  • n. any carefree episode
  • n. North American songbirds having a yellow breast
  • n. a songbird that lives mainly on the ground in open country; has streaky brown plumage

Etymologies

Middle English laveroc, larke, from Old English lāwerce.
Short for skylark, to frolic, or alteration of dialectal lake, play (from Middle English leik, laik, from Old Norse leikr).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Origin uncertain, either (Wiktionary)
From Middle English larke, laverke, from Old English lāwerce, lǣwerce, lāuricæ, from Proto-Germanic *laiwazikōn (compare West Frisian dialect larts, Dutch leeuwerik, German Lerche), from *laiwaz (borrowed into Finnish leivo, Estonian lõo). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "I've suffered mor'n once from raids on my orchards and chicken coops, and found it was some town boys, off on what they called a lark, that made other people suffer."

    The Boy Scouts of Lenox

  • She had always been in a frolic of some sort, when I had known her in Davos, whither she had gone because she thought it would be "what you call a lark"; and she was in a frolic now, judging by her merry laughter when she saw me.

    The Princess Passes

  • 'Depends on what you call a lark,' said Hazell; 'it's not much of a lark tearing down midstream like this in a fog.

    The Grand Babylon Hotel

  • His companion was a man who delighted in what he called a lark, and whose only method of insuring a lark was by starting in with whiskey and keeping it up.

    Unleavened Bread

  • He's a former hacker and current high school truant who has turned what he describes as a lark -- Chatroulette was intended to entertain his friends, he says -- into ambitions for storming Silicon Valley.

    Latest News - Yahoo!7 News

  • The upside to this writing about games lark is that, every now and then, hobby and work mesh beautifully, and you end up with someone paying you to write about something fabulous, joyous, invigorating and fascinating.

    Imagination And Abstraction

  • But many of us are Pro's even if this lark is not our primary way of making a living, and most writers have the same problem.

    Let Us Now Praise Famous Fen

  • This no mail lark is really wearing, I hadn't realised quite how much I look forward to arriving home from work and finding out which books have arrived in the post.

    48 entries from October 2007

  • Well, possibly the longest period of silence since I started this blogging lark is (as I type) coming to an end.

    A blogger returns

  • A lark is singing over head, and the air is filled with the scent of hay.

    Juniper Hall: A Rendezvous of Certain Illustrious Personages during the French Revolution, Including Alexandre D'Arblay and Fanny Burney

Comments

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  • Hark! hark! the lark at Heaven's gate sings,
    And Phoebus 'gins arise,
    His steeds to water at those springs
    On chalic'd flowers that lies.

    - William Shakespeare, 'Hark, Hark The Lark'.

    November 17, 2008