stalk·​er | \ ˈstȯ-kər How to pronounce stalker (audio) \
plural stalkers

Definition of stalker

1 : a person who stalks : a person who pursues someone obsessively and aggressively to the point of harassment celebrity stalkers In 1990, California was the first state to pass a stalking law that made it a crime to follow, threaten, or harass someone—especially if the stalker threatened violence.George Eighty-seven percent of stalkers are men. Women tend to be victimized by lone male stalkers whom they know, while men are more likely to be stalked by strangers, and half of male victims' stalkers had an accomplice.— Matthew Klein
2 : a person or animal that pursues quarry or prey stealthily a deer stalker Though I catch my share of trout, I do it by being a good stalker and knowing where the fish lie …— Bill Barich Polar bears are superb stalkers, and have a way of suddenly appearing heart-stoppingly close.— John P. Wiley Jr.

First Known Use of stalker

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best home security camera systems.

Learn More About stalker

Time Traveler for stalker

Time Traveler

The first known use of stalker was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near stalker

stalked puffball



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for stalker

Cite this Entry

“Stalker.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on stalker

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stalker


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!