\ ˈskəlk How to pronounce skulk (audio) \
skulked; skulking; skulks

Definition of skulk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to move in a stealthy or furtive manner skulked into her sister's room
2a : to hide or conceal something (such as oneself) often out of cowardice or fear or with sinister intent
b chiefly British : malinger



Definition of skulk (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one that skulks
2 : a group of foxes

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Other Words from skulk


skulker noun

Synonyms for skulk

Synonyms: Verb

lurk, mooch, mouse, pussyfoot, shirk, slide, slink, slip, snake, sneak, steal

Synonyms: Noun

lurker, skulker, slyboots, sneak, sneaker

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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."

Examples of skulk in a Sentence


A man was skulking around outside. She skulked into her sister's room.


around campus he was seen as a solitary skulk who seemed to be a little too interested in news reports of school shootings
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First Known Use of skulk


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for skulk


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

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Dictionary Entries near skulk






skull and crossbones


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Time Traveler for skulk

The first known use of skulk was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for skulk



English Language Learners Definition of skulk

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


\ ˈskəlk How to pronounce skulk (audio) \
skulked; skulking

Kids Definition of skulk

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on skulk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with skulk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for skulk

Spanish Central: Translation of skulk

Nglish: Translation of skulk for Spanish Speakers

Comments on skulk

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


not constant or steady

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