"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[skuhlk] /skʌlk/
verb (used without object)
to lie or keep in hiding, as for some evil reason:
The thief skulked in the shadows.
to move in a stealthy manner; slink:
The panther skulked through the bush.
British. to shirk duty; malinger.
a person who skulks.
a pack or group of foxes.
Rare. an act or instance of skulking.
Also, sculk.
Origin of skulk
1175-1225; Middle English < Scandinavian (not in ON); compare Danish, Norwegian skulke, Swedish skolka play hooky
Related forms
skulker, noun
skulkingly, adverb
1. See lurk. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for skulking
  • Their sight and hearing aren't great, so it's easy to sneak up on one skulking in the underbrush.
  • Other contenders, as yet undiscovered, could well be skulking in the dripping declivities of this arboreal paradise.
  • The truth behind the circles is, alas, almost certainly more mundane: skulking humans.
  • The deer fawns are always skulking about, and are by no means such bold inquisitive little creatures as the small antelope are.
  • There is a danger that piracy will move on from teenagers skulking in bedrooms and into the living room.
  • Rivals become mere fans around her, lingering at the door of her dressing room and then skulking away.
  • The grumbling and grousing of many soldiers should not be confused with skulking.
  • When the cops see the mainlanders skulking around the crime scene, they immediately take them as suspects.
  • Tetanus is a real lowlife, skulking around the dirtiest places, waiting for the chance to infect someone.
  • It is a skulking bird of the southern canebrakes and rhododendron thickets.
British Dictionary definitions for skulking


verb (intransitive)
to move stealthily so as to avoid notice
to lie in hiding; lurk
to shirk duty or evade responsibilities; malinger
a person who skulks
(obsolete) a pack of foxes or other animals that creep about stealthily
Derived Forms
skulker, noun
Word Origin
C13: of Scandinavian origin; compare Norwegian skulka to lurk, Swedish skolka, Danish skulke to shirk
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for skulking



c.1200, from a Scandinavian source, cf. Norwegian skulke "to shirk, malinger," Danish skulke "to spare oneself, shirk," Swedish skolka "to shirk, skulk, slink, play truant." Common in Middle English but lacking in 15c.-16c. records; possibly reborrowed 17c. Related: Skulked; skulking; skulker; skulkery.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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