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

  • adj. Informal Dawdling; slow: waited for the poky sales clerk to ring up the sale.
  • adj. Informal Frumpish; shabby: found poky old clothes at the thrift store.
  • adj. Informal Small and cramped: a poky but inexpensive apartment.
  • n. Slang Variant of pokey1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. slow
  • adj. small and cramped
  • n. jail
  • n. A gambling device based on the card game poker

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Confined; cramped.
  • adj. Dull; tedious; uninteresting.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Slow; dull; stupid: said of persons.—2. Confined; cramped; musty; stuffy: said of places.
  • Poor; shabby.

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

  • n. a correctional institution used to detain persons who are in the lawful custody of the government (either accused persons awaiting trial or convicted persons serving a sentence)
  • adj. small and remote and insignificant
  • adj. wasting time


From poke1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
By shortening from poker machine ("gambling device") (Wiktionary)
This definition is lacking an etymology or has an incomplete etymology. You can help Wiktionary by giving it a proper etymology. (Wiktionary)
This definition is lacking an etymology or has an incomplete etymology. You can help Wiktionary by giving it a proper etymology. (Wiktionary)


  • Barbara Leicester was always a frank and outspoken person, and the young people were sure to hear her opinion whenever they asked for it; but she herself seemed to grow younger, in these days, and Betty pleased her immensely one day, when it was mentioned that a certain person who wore caps, and was what Betty called "poky," was about Miss Barbara's age:

    Betty Leicester A Story For Girls

  • When supper was announced, Polly happened to be talking, or trying to talk, to one of the "poky" gentlemen whom Fan had introduced.

    An Old-Fashioned Girl

  • Charley found his boarding-house a little "poky," to borrow his own phrase, and he was pleased with Farnsworth's invitation.

    The Faith Doctor A Story of New York

  • Not being too rapted in those "poky" little metal adjustment wheels, I'd go for a shim adjusted bridge with a bone insert.

    Mandolin Cafe News

  • "Kenelm colored up some -- he always h'isted danger signals when women heave in sight -- and agreed that 'twas kind of poky bein 'all alone.

    Thankful's Inheritance

  • That 's the way we girls studied at school, except a few 'poky' ones, who wanted to be learned, or meant to be teachers. "

    Dred; A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp. Vol. I

  • Mostly the film just seemed too poky and unnecessarily artsy.

    2009 December :

  • The film gets a bit poky and dialogue-heavy at times, but both of us enjoyed it.

    Weekly Mishmash: February 21-27 :

  • And the next-to-last: “So the poky little puppy had to go to bed without a single bite of shortcake, and he felt very sorry for himself.”

    2009 March 07 « One-Minute Book Reviews

  • Some of its themes conflict with the orthodoxies of child-rearing of 21st century, when psychologists instruct adults not to label children “poky” or “shy” or to withhold food as punishment (or even to use the word “punishment” instead of “discipline”).

    2009 March 07 « One-Minute Book Reviews


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