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intransitive verb \ˈskəlk\

Simple Definition of skulk

  • : to move or hide in a secret way especially because you are planning to do something bad

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of skulk

  1. 1 :  to move in a stealthy or furtive manner <skulked into her sister's room>

  2. 2a :  to hide or conceal something (as oneself) often out of cowardice or fear or with sinister intentb chiefly British :  malinger

skulker noun

Examples of skulk in a sentence

  1. A man was skulking around outside.

  2. She skulked into her sister's room.

Did You Know?

Here's one for the word-puzzle lovers. Can you name three things that the word skulk has in common with all of these other words: booth, brink, cog, flit, give, kid, meek, scab, seem, skull and wing? If you noticed that all of the terms on that list have just one syllable, then you've got the first (easy) similarity, but the next two are likely to prove a little harder to guess. Do you give up? All of the words listed above are of Scandinavian origin and all were first recorded in English in the 13th century. As for "skulk," its closest known Scandinavian relative is the Norwegian dialect word skulka, which means "to lie in wait" or "lurk."

Origin of skulk

Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian dialect skulka to lie in wait, lurk

First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of skulk

lurk, skulk, slink, sneak mean to behave so as to escape attention. lurk implies a lying in wait in a place of concealment and often suggests an evil intent <suspicious men lurking in alleyways>. skulk suggests more strongly cowardice or fear or sinister intent <something skulking in the shadows>. slink implies moving stealthily often merely to escape attention <slunk around the corner>. sneak may add an implication of entering or leaving a place or evading a difficulty by furtive or underhanded methods <sneaked out early>.

Rhymes with skulk




Definition of skulk

  1. 1 :  one that skulks

  2. 2 :  a group of foxes

Examples of skulk in a sentence

  1. <around campus he was seen as a solitary skulk who seemed to be a little too interested in news reports of school shootings>

14th Century

First Known Use of skulk

14th century

Other Hunting and Fishing Terms

SKULK Defined for Kids


verb \ˈskəlk\

Definition of skulk for Students


  1. :  to hide or move in a sly or sneaking way <The thief skulked behind a fence.>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up skulk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to expose to danger or risk

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