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[baw-kee] /ˈbɔ ki/
adjective, balkier, balkiest.
given to balking; stubborn; obstinate:
a balky mule.
Origin of balky
1840-50; balk + -y1
Related forms
balkily, adverb
balkiness, noun
contrary, perverse, headstrong, mulish, pigheaded. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for balky
  • They overhauled two balky instruments, delivered two new ones and installed new gyroscopes and batteries.
  • Its primary purpose is to fix all of those jerky, balky, miscalculated-momentum issues.
  • The astronauts also fixed several balky scientific instruments.
  • He even fiddles with the balky machine while company executives sit all around him.
  • Plus, they're dealing with tax caps and balky voters when it comes to approving building fund requests.
British Dictionary definitions for balky


/ˈbɔːkɪ; ˈbɔːlkɪ/
adjective balkier, balkiest, baulkier, baulkiest
inclined to stop abruptly and unexpectedly: a balky horse
Derived Forms
balkily, baulkily, adverb
balkiness, baulkiness, noun
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 balky

1847, from balk (n.) + -y (2). Related: Balkily; balkiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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