1
as in to lurk
to move about in a sly or secret manner I thought I saw someone skulking about in the shadows

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2
as in to hide
to remain out of sight the animal control officers caught the stray cat that had been skulking behind some trash cans

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skulk

2 of 2

noun

as in sneak
someone who acts in a sly and secret manner were surprised to discover the skulk stealing from the garden was a raccoon

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How is the word skulk distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of skulk are lurk, slink, and sneak. While all these words mean "to behave so as to escape attention," skulk suggests more strongly cowardice or fear or sinister intent.

something skulking in the shadows

When is it sensible to use lurk instead of skulk?

While in some cases nearly identical to skulk, lurk implies a lying in wait in a place of concealment and often suggests an evil intent.

suspicious men lurking in alleyways

Where would slink be a reasonable alternative to skulk?

The synonyms slink and skulk are sometimes interchangeable, but slink implies moving stealthily often merely to escape attention.

slunk around the corner

In what contexts can sneak take the place of skulk?

The words sneak and skulk can be used in similar contexts, but sneak may add an implication of entering or leaving a place or evading a difficulty by furtive or underhanded methods.

sneaked out early

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Cite this Entry

“Skulk.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/skulk. Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

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