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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • O foolish minister, trying in that way to manage a balky parishioner!

    Around The Tea-Table T. De Witt Talmage
  • You buy a lot of half-broken, bucking, balky teams because you can get 'em cheap.

    A California Girl Edward Eldridge
  • But you know it's the truth that I'm balky at giving up everything in sight.

    August First Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews and Roy Irving Murray
  • It leaked, and it steered like a balky mule, but what of that?

    A Ticket to Adventure Roy J. Snell
  • The horse proved to be an obstreperous, balky thing, and as contrary as a mule.

    Twenty Years of Hus'ling J. P. Johnston
  • Stover came to a balky stop, hastily snatching away his derby.

    Stover at Yale Owen Johnson
  • I remember a balky horse that used sometimes to be in the livery barn in the city.

    White Dandy; or, Master and I Velma Caldwell Melville
  • A balky horse ought not to be trusted to a child of your age.'

  • She simply rolled down to the first incline and stopped there like a balky mule.

    Cabin Fever B. M. Bower
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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