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skulk

or sculk

[skuhlk] /skʌlk/
verb (used without object)
1.
to lie or keep in hiding, as for some evil reason:
The thief skulked in the shadows.
2.
to move in a stealthy manner; slink:
The panther skulked through the bush.
3.
British. to shirk duty; malinger.
noun
4.
a person who skulks.
5.
a pack or group of foxes.
6.
Rare. an act or instance of skulking.
Origin of skulk
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English < Scandinavian (not in ON); compare Danish, Norwegian skulke, Swedish skolka play hooky
Related forms
skulker, noun
skulkingly, adverb
Synonyms
1. See lurk.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for skulk
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Such indeed were the thoughts to skulk in the mind of the Lone Wolf like quails in corn, as he rode forward on his quest.

    The Sunset Trail Alfred Henry Lewis
  • He didn't mean to skulk like a whipped cur about his own decks.

    The Rescue Joseph Conrad
  • It must please you to skulk around among the Tories and savages, if, after having once gained the fort, you come back.

  • Sit there and skulk, while the others do the work, would you?

    Cutlass and Cudgel George Manville Fenn
  • And was ever anything so meanly done as what I did—to skulk away like that from a man who was only civil and kind!

  • I suppose you thought that, being off duty, you could skulk in your cabin and do nothing.

    Under the Chilian Flag Harry Collingwood
  • Those who skulk shall learn that the Newgate "cat" is tender compared with her brother of Barbadoes.

    For Faith and Freedom Walter Besant
  • On coming within sight of us, the figure was seen to skulk and hide in the bushes.

    The War Trail Mayne Reid
  • The birds are shy and skulk off through the underbrush upon the approach of anyone so that the nests are quite difficult to find.

    The Bird Book Chester A. Reed
British Dictionary definitions for skulk

skulk

/skʌlk/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to move stealthily so as to avoid notice
2.
to lie in hiding; lurk
3.
to shirk duty or evade responsibilities; malinger
noun
4.
a person who skulks
5.
(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 skulk
v.

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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13
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