Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To burden or be burdened with trouble; worry.
  • n. A worry; a trouble: carks and cares.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To be filled with worry, solicitude, or troubles.
  • v. To bring worry, vexation, or anxiety.
  • n. A noxious or corroding worry.
  • n. The state of being filled with worry.
  • v. Eye dialect spelling of caulk.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A noxious or corroding care; solicitude; worry.
  • intransitive v. To be careful, anxious, solicitous, or troubled in mind; to worry or grieve.
  • transitive v. To vex; to worry; to make by anxious care or worry.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To load; burden; load or oppress with grief, anxiety, or care; worry; perplex; vex.
  • To bring to be by care or anxiety; make by carking.
  • To be full of care, anxious, solicitous, or concerned.
  • n. A load; a burden; a weight; specifically, an old measure of weight for wool, equal to the thirtieth part of a sarplar.
  • n. A burden of care; a state of anxious solicitude; care; concern; trouble; distress.

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

  • v. disturb in mind or make uneasy or cause to be worried or alarmed

Etymologies

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

Middle English carken, from Norman French carquier, to burden, load, from Late Latin carricāre; see cargo.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English carken ("to be anxious"), from Old English carcian, becarcian ("to be anxious, be anxious about, care for, take charge of, look after"), from car- ("care") + formative -cian (suffix).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From caulk

Examples

Comments

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  • There's a joy without canker or cark,

    There's a pleasure eternally new,

    'Tis to gloat on the glaze and the mark

    Of china that's ancient and blue.

    -Andrew Lang, Ballade of Blue China

    August 26, 2014

  • The two words are unlikely to be related. 'Cark' "die" is only very recently attested; it could be short for 'carcass'.

    August 12, 2008

  • For nowadays, the whale-fishery furnishes an asylum for many romantic, melancholy, and absent-minded young men, disgusted with the carking care of earth, and seeking sentiment in tar and blubber.

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 35

    July 25, 2008

  • ...just as the body is liable to awful diseases and harsh pain, so we see the mind liable to carking care and grief and fear...

    - Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, 3. 459-461, tr. Rouse

    June 25, 2008

  • - Gareth died at a rave, did he?

    - Yeh, the soft twat, in-a back of a van. Comes out of jail that very fuckin day an to celebrate OD's on meth. Carked it. The prick.

    - Niall Griffiths, Sheepshagger

    January 16, 2008

  • I wonder how it went from meaning "worry" to meaning "drop dead"? (The "worry" definition being archaic.)

    October 4, 2007

  • This sounds vaguely Irish to me - like they're saying cork with an Irish accent.

    October 4, 2007

  • "To cark it" = to expire, drop dead.

    E.g.

    - "How's your uncle Bernie these days?"

    - "Who? Oh, him: he carked it yonks ago."

    October 4, 2007

  • Maybe Carl carked a lot?

    October 3, 2007

  • Ha, there was a guy who went by the name Cark on a (now defunct) web site I used to frequent. I always assumed it was just a funny-sounding typo for what I figured was his real name, Carl.

    October 3, 2007

  • To worry or to be burdened with worries.

    I've been doing some serious carking lately, boyoboy.

    October 3, 2007