balky

adjective \ ˈbȯ-kē , sometimes ˈbȯl- \
Updated on: 18 Nov 2017

Definition of balky

balkier; balkiest
:refusing or likely to refuse to proceed, act, or function as directed or expected
  • a balky mule
  • a balky engine

balkiness

noun

Examples of balky in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of balky from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'balky.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of balky

1831

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

BALKY Defined for English Language Learners

balky

adjective

Definition of balky for English Language Learners

  • : not doing what is wanted or expected


BALKY Defined for Kids

balky

adjective \ ˈbȯ-kē \

Definition of balky for Students

balkier; balkiest
:likely to stop or refuse to go
  • a balky engine


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