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or sculk

[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.
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 skulked
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mrs. Weatherby greeted her warmly and her various younger cousins were produced from the corners where they skulked politely.

    This Side of Paradise F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • They have skulked out, like traitors as they be, knowing our absence at the feast.

  • Bring in that man that skulked when the boys were going for that abatis.

  • I skulked in the scrub as he came up—just behind a clump of wattle.

    Colonial Born G. Firth Scott
  • That same onset was meant for Thorvald, but he hid himself in the shadow and skulked, until men came between then and parted them.

  • While the magic lantern was showing, I skulked without in the dark.

    In the South Seas Robert Louis Stevenson
  • They traversed the village toward the municipal prison; and this creature, featured like a Parisian Apache, skulked behind.

    The Sleuth of St. James's Square Melville Davisson Post
  • I skulked for my poor life in my own wood of Tunstall, Dick.

    The Black Arrow Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Did you ever meet a millionaire who skulked round pretending he was as poor as Job?

    The Treasure of Heaven Marie Corelli
British Dictionary definitions for skulked


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 skulked



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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