\ ˈbȯ-kē How to pronounce balky (audio) , sometimes ˈbȯl- \
balkier; balkiest

Definition of balky

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

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Other Words from balky

balkiness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of balky in a Sentence

a balky toddler who only seemed to know the word “no” when told to do something
Recent Examples on the Web PlayStation's decision to stop selling Cyberpunk 2077 comes only a week after the title's release and angry comments from users about the game's balky performance on some platforms. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Sony yanks Cyberpunk 2077 from Playstation store after outcry," 18 Dec. 2020 Judge played in just four games against the Rays this season because of the balky right calf that kept him out of 30 games. Kristie Ackert,, "Aaron Judge says his motivation for World Series title is past postseason loss," 5 Oct. 2020 The original Simeon synthesizer was eventually replaced by a smaller, less balky digital successor. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "Simeon Coxe, Whose Silver Apples Presaged Synth-Pop, Dies at 82," 12 Sep. 2020 Ford played just 226 snaps last year because of his balky knee and a hamstring injury. Eric Branch,, "Dee Ford latest 49er to restructure contract; Why not Jimmy Garoppolo?," 6 Sep. 2020 Hundreds of thousands of Marylanders were out of work and struggling to get state benefits from a balky online system. Jean Marbella,, "Maryland Gov. Hogan sought ‘seamless’ transition to new chief of staff with longtime associate. His pick lasted 11 weeks," 29 Aug. 2020 The first virtual floor session in 401 years of Virginia legislative history got off to a rocky start Wednesday, as the House of Delegates wrestled with a balky video system and Republicans complained of lost connections. Washington Post, "Virginia House attempts first-ever online floor session; Senate advances police overhaul," 19 Aug. 2020 The payroll tax rate does not usually change in the middle of the year, Isberg said, and the shift would require businesses to reprogram computer systems that can be balky. Dee Depass, Star Tribune, "Minnesota employers have more questions than answers on Trump's payroll tax deferral," 11 Aug. 2020 The payroll tax rate does not usually change in the middle of the year, Mr. Isberg said, and the shift would require businesses to reprogram computer systems that can be balky. Alan Rappeport, New York Times, "To Withhold or Not: Trump’s Order Gives Employers a New Dilemma," 10 Aug. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of balky

1831, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for balky

Time Traveler

The first known use of balky was in 1831

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Statistics for balky

Last Updated

30 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Balky.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for balky


How to pronounce balky (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of balky

chiefly US : not doing what is wanted or expected


\ ˈbȯ-kē How to pronounce balky (audio) \
balkier; balkiest

Kids Definition of balky

: likely to stop or refuse to go a balky engine

More from Merriam-Webster on balky

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for balky

Nglish: Translation of balky for Spanish Speakers

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