stalking horse

stalk·​ing horse | \ ˈstȯ-kiŋ- How to pronounce stalking horse (audio) \

Definition of stalking horse

1 : a horse or a figure like a horse behind which a hunter stalks game
2 : something used to mask a purpose
3 : a candidate put forward to divide the opposition or to conceal someone's real candidacy

Examples of stalking horse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In the minds of too many activists, climate really is a stalking horse for capitalism, consumerism and economic growth. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Climate Change Is Affordable," 27 Nov. 2018 Right Lane will also receive a breakup fee and expense reimbursement totaling $995,000 for having served as stalking horse, or lead, bidder. Becky Yerak, WSJ, "Planet Hollywood Owner to Buy Bertucci’s Pizza Chain," 5 June 2018 Companies selling assets in bankruptcy often seek to name a stalking horse to set a floor price to encourage bidding. Lillian Rizzo And Patrick Fitzgerald, WSJ, "Fairfax Makes $300 Million Bid for Toys ‘R’ Us Canadian Stores," 20 Apr. 2018 Enduro has already secured stalking horse bidders for three of those packages. Sandra Baker, star-telegram, "Oil and gas company owned by prominent Fort Worth family files for bankruptcy | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 17 May 2018 At the same time, the debtors are of course continuing to work closely and cooperatively with our stalking horse bidder to ensure as smooth a transition as possible if the stalking horse bidder is ultimately the prevailing bidder. Jonathan Randles, WSJ, "Randles’s Take: Weinstein Co. Fate Likely Determined This Week," 30 Apr. 2018 Witor, owned by Blair Wyatt and trained by Todd Wyatt, with Eric Poretz in the irons, played stalking horse and bided his time throughout the course. Maryanna Skowronski, The Aegis, "Zanclus takes My Lady's Manor Steeplechase on a beautiful day for racing," 15 Apr. 2018 Most were thinly veiled production cars, stalking horses for models soon to arrive in the showroom, like Lincoln's Aviator. Jim Resnick, Ars Technica, "Jaw-dropping Genesis Essentia stole the show in NY—and it may never be built," 3 Apr. 2018 In chapter 11, GateHouse Media is acting as the lead bidder, also known as the stalking horse. Peg Brickley, WSJ, "Boston Herald Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection," 8 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stalking horse.' 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 stalking horse

1519, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near stalking horse

stalk field



stalking horse




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Time Traveler for stalking horse

The first known use of stalking horse was in 1519

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More Definitions for stalking horse

stalking horse


English Language Learners Definition of stalking horse

: someone or something that is used to hide a true purpose especially : a candidate for a political office or position who has no real chance of winning but is being used by a political party to weaken the support for an opposing party, to find out if another candidate might be successful, etc.

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Comments on stalking horse

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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