poke out

poke out

  1. (intransitive) To be barely visible past an obstruction or obstructions; to protrude.
    • 1886, Wilkie Collins, The Evil Genius, London: Chatto & Windus, Volume 1, Before the Story, Part 4, p. 41,
      Here’s the Queen, my dears, in her gilt coach, drawn by six horses. Do you see her sceptre poking out of the carriage window? She governs the nation with that.
    • 1916, Margaret Deland, The Rising Tide (Deland novel), New York: Harper & Bros., Chapter 5, p. 69,
      “Fred’s great, perfectly great,” she said, looking down at the toe of her slipper, poking out from her pink tulle skirt.
    • 1963, Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, London: Faber & Faber, 1971, Chapter Thirteen,
      A big round grey rock, like the upper half of an egg, poked out of the water about a mile from the stony headland.
  2. (intransitive) To emerge from behind, in, or under something.
    • 1893, John Arthur Barry, “A Cape Horn Christmas” in Steve Brown’s Bunyip and Other Stories, Sydney: N.S.W. Bookstall Co., 1905, p. 277,
      As they gazed, a white face, wet with the sweat of fear, poked out and stared down upon them with eyes in which the late terror still lived.
    • 1904, Laurence Housman, The Blue Moon, London: John Murray, “The Moon-Stroke,” p. 95,
      One by one five mouths poked out of the shells, demanding to be fed […]
    • 1941, Emily Carr, Klee Wyck, Toronto: Oxford University Press, Chapter 9,
      As dawn came I watched things slowly poke out of the black. Each thing was a surprise.
  3. (transitive) To cause (something) to protrude or emerge.
    • 1574, Arthur Golding (translator), Sermons of Master John Calvin upon the Book of Job, London: Lucas Harison and George Byshop, Sermon 134, on Chapter 34, p. 692,
      Ye see then we are but as snayles, and are chaunged incontinent. And is it meet that we shoulde poke out our hornes agaynst God?
    • 1748, Samuel Richardson, Clarissa, London, for the author, Volume 5, Letter 20, p. 178,
      In came the fellow, bowing and scraping, his hat poked out before him with both his hands.
    • 1908, Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, New York: Scribner, Chapter 11, pp. 263-264,
      The Badger and I have been round and round the place, by night and by day; always the same thing. Sentries posted everywhere, guns poked out at us, stones thrown at us; always an animal on the look-out […]
    • 1911, Katherine Mansfield, “The Luft Bad” in In a German Pension, London: Stephen Swift & Co., p. 132,
      I felt so light and free and happy—so childish! I wanted to poke my tongue out at the circle on the grass, who, drawing close together, were whispering meaningly.
  4. (transitive) To remove (something) by poking (often creating a hole in the process).
    • 1665, John Phillips (author) (translator), Typhon, or, The Gyants War with the Gods by Paul Scarron (1644), London: Samuel Speed, Canto 5, p. 147,
      Apollo then does shoot so right
      With shaft that’s sharp as well as bright,
      Hits Ephialtes in the eye;
      And Hercules that then stood by,
      Pokes out his other: farewel he.
    • 1842, Robert Browning, “Dramatic Lyrics” in Lyrics of Life, Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1866, p. 35, lines 148-149,
      “Go,” cried the Mayor, “and get long poles!
      Poke out the nests and block up the holes!
    • 1913, D. H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, London: Duckworth, Part 1, Chapter 2, pp. 28-29,
      […] he would bustle round in his slovenly fashion, poking out the ashes, rubbing the fireplace, sweeping the house before he went to work.

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