stalking horse

noun

stalk·​ing horse ˈstȯ-kiŋ- How to pronounce stalking horse (audio)
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 Estes Express has submitted a stalking horse bid — an offer intended to set a minimum price for assets — of $1.53 billion for Yellow’s shipment centers. Peter Eavis, New York Times, 27 Nov. 2023 This stalking horse strategy is highly effective, Dr. Rocha said, adding that there are probably many other nonhuman animals using it. Annie Roth, New York Times, 8 Aug. 2023 Like many businessmen of the age, Welch saw the New Deal as a stalking horse for an eventual socialist takeover of the United States; the same debased and demagogic vision of the political economy that had driven him from Harvard Law was now dictating the country’s economic policy. Chris Lehmann, The New Republic, 23 Nov. 2021 And if there's any hesitation, another city looking to make a name for itself may become the stalking horse. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 16 June 2023 The price matched the Overstock stalking horse bid that set the floor at the auction, meaning nobody offered a higher bid. Harold Maass, The Week, 22 June 2023 Our offer was significantly more than the stalking horse bid by the sellers. Jennifer Maas, Variety, 22 June 2023 And second, expansion has provided a whole stable of stalking horses. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 16 June 2023 When American officials questioned Germany’s growing reliance on Russian natural gas, activists—not to mention the Germans themselves—saw their concerns as a stalking horse for the U.S. fossil-fuel industry, which wanted to turn Germany into a customer. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 30 Mar. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stalking horse.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1519, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of stalking horse was in 1519

Dictionary Entries Near stalking horse

Cite this Entry

“Stalking horse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stalking%20horse. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on stalking horse

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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