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stalk1

[stawk] /stɔk/
noun
1.
the stem or main axis of a plant.
2.
any slender supporting or connecting part of a plant, as the petiole of a leaf, the peduncle of a flower, or the funicle of an ovule.
3.
a similar structural part of an animal.
4.
a stem, shaft, or slender supporting part of anything.
5.
Automotive. a slender lever, usually mounted on or near the steering wheel, that is used by the driver to control a signal or function:
The horn button is on the turn-signal stalk.
Origin of stalk1
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English stalke, apparently equivalent to Old English stal(u) stave + -k diminutive suffix
Related forms
stalklike, adjective

stalk2

[stawk] /stɔk/
verb (used without object)
1.
to pursue or approach prey, quarry, etc., stealthily.
2.
to walk with measured, stiff, or haughty strides:
He was so angry he stalked away without saying goodbye.
3.
to proceed in a steady, deliberate, or sinister manner:
Famine stalked through the nation.
4.
Obsolete. to walk or go stealthily along.
verb (used with object)
5.
to pursue (game, a person, etc.) stealthily.
6.
to proceed through (an area) in search of prey or quarry:
to stalk the woods for game.
7.
to proceed or spread through in a steady or sinister manner:
Disease stalked the land.
noun
8.
an act or course of stalking quarry, prey, or the like:
We shot the mountain goat after a five-hour stalk.
9.
a slow, stiff stride or gait.
Origin
1250-1300; Middle English stalken (v.), representing the base of Old English bestealcian to move stealthily, stealcung stalking (gerund); akin to steal
Related forms
stalkable, adjective
stalker, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for stalk
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • stalk, half-an-inch long, obliquely inserted under a fleshy lip.

    British Pomology Robert Hogg
  • Some lives have not even a stalk on which fruits could hang, even if they did grow in five minutes.

    Pax Vobiscum Henry Drummond
  • The master ignored his slaves, sitting heavily on the dune until he regained his breath after the stalk.

    The Ethical Engineer Henry Maxwell Dempsey
  • When he could no longer endure, he would get up and stalk determinedly away from them.

    White Fang Jack London
  • The hawthorn leaves in places have turned pale, and are touched, too, towards the stalk with a deep brown hue.

    Hodge and His Masters Richard Jefferies
British Dictionary definitions for stalk

stalk1

/stɔːk/
noun
1.
the main stem of a herbaceous plant
2.
any of various subsidiary plant stems, such as a leafstalk (petiole) or flower stalk (peduncle)
3.
a slender supporting structure in animals such as crinoids and certain protozoans, coelenterates, and barnacles
4.
any long slender supporting shaft or column
Derived Forms
stalked, adjective
stalkless, adjective
stalklike, adjective
Word Origin
C14: probably a diminutive formed from Old English stalu upright piece of wood; related to Old Frisian staal handle

stalk2

/stɔːk/
verb
1.
to follow or approach (game, prey, etc) stealthily and quietly
2.
to pursue persistently and, sometimes, attack (a person with whom one is obsessed, often a celebrity)
3.
to spread over (a place) in a menacing or grim manner: fever stalked the camp
4.
(intransitive) to walk in a haughty, stiff, or threatening way: he stalked out in disgust
5.
to search or draw (a piece of land) for prey
noun
6.
the act of stalking
7.
a stiff or threatening stride
Derived Forms
stalker, noun
Word Origin
Old English bestealcian to walk stealthily; related to Middle Low German stolkeren, Danish stalke
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 stalk
n.

"stem of a plant," early 14c., probably a diminutive (with -k suffix) of stale "one of the uprights of a ladder, handle, stalk," from Old English stalu "wooden part" (as of a harp), from Proto-Germanic *stalo; related to Old English steala "stalk, support," and steall "place" (see stall (n.1)).

v.

"pursue stealthily," Old English -stealcian, as in bestealcian "to steal along," from Proto-Germanic *stalkojanan, probably from a frequentative of the root of steal (cf. hark from hear, talk from tell). Or it may be from a sense of stalk (v.1), influenced by stalk (n.). Meaning "harass obsessively" first recorded 1991. Related: Stalked; stalking.

A stalking-horse was literally a horse trained to allow a fowler to conceal himself behind it to get within range of the game; figurative sense of "person who participates in a proceeding to disguise its real purpose" is recorded from 1610s.

"walk haughtily" (opposite meaning of stalk (v.1)) is 1520s, perhaps from stalk (n.) with a notion of "long, awkward strides," or from Old English stealcung "a stalking," related to stealc "steep, lofty."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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stalk in Medicine

stalk (stôk)
n.
A slender or elongated support or structure, as one that connects or supports an organ.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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stalk in Science
stalk
  (stôk)   
  1. The main stem of a plant.

  2. A slender structure that supports a plant part, such as a flower or leaf.

  3. A slender supporting structure in certain other organisms, such as the reproductive structure in plasmodial slime molds or the part of a mushroom below the cap.

  4. A slender supporting or connecting part of an animal, such as the eyestalk of a lobster.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for stalk

stakes

Related Terms

pull up stakes

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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9
10
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