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skulk

verb \ ˈskəlk \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of skulk

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

skulker

noun

skulk was our Word of the Day on 05/14/2012. Hear the podcast!

Examples of skulk in a Sentence

  1. A man was skulking around outside.

  2. She skulked into her sister's room.

Recent Examples of skulk from the Web

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

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 and Etymology of skulk

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

skulk Synonyms

Synonyms
lurk, mooch, mouse, pussyfoot, shirk, sneak, slide, slink, slip, snake, steal
Antonyms
appear
Related Words
crawl, creep, edge, inch, worm; ghost, pad, tiptoe
Near Antonyms
come out, materialize, show up, turn up

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

2

skulk

noun

Definition of skulk

1 :one that skulks
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

Recent Examples of skulk from the Web

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

First Known Use of skulk

14th century

skulk Synonyms

Other Hunting and Fishing Terms


SKULK Defined for English Language Learners

skulk

verb

Definition of skulk for English Language Learners

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


SKULK Defined for Kids

skulk

verb \ ˈskəlk \

Definition of skulk for Students

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


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