(hunting) Of hounds, to retrace a course in order to pick up a lost scent.
Origin of Hark-back
Originally a hunting command, literally “Listen! Go back!”, thence a term to refer to the process. In the 19th century US became used in a figurative sense “to go back to an earlier point or topic in a discussion”. In 20th century American usage used more loosely for references to the past (often historical past, rather than earlier in a given discussion), particularly nostalgic.
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