Dictionary

balky

adjective \ˈb-kē sometimes ˈbl-\

: not doing what is wanted or expected

balk·i·erbalk·i·est

Full Definition of BALKY

:  refusing or likely to refuse to proceed, act, or function as directed or expected <a balky mule> <a balky engine>
balk·i·ness noun
ADVERTISEMENT

Examples of BALKY

  1. <a balky toddler who only seemed to know the word no when told to do something>

First Known Use of BALKY

1847

Synonym Discussion of BALKY

contrary, perverse, restive, balky, wayward mean inclined to resist authority or control. contrary implies a temperamental unwillingness to accept orders or advice <a contrary child>. perverse may imply wrongheaded, determined, or cranky opposition to what is reasonable or normal <a perverse, intractable critic>. restive suggests unwillingness or inability to submit to discipline or follow orders <tired soldiers growing restive>. balky suggests a refusing to proceed in a desired direction or course of action <a balky witness>. wayward suggests strong-willed capriciousness and irregularity in behavior <a school for wayward youths>.

Rhymes with BALKY

BALKINESS Defined for Kids

balky

adjective \ˈb-kē\
balk·i·erbalk·i·est

Definition of BALKY for Kids

:  likely to stop or refuse to go <a balky engine>

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: ball (noun)Previous Word in the Dictionary: balklineAll Words Near: balky
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears