stalk

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English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English stalke, diminutive of stale 'ladder upright, stalk', from Old English stalu 'wooden upright', from Proto-Germanic *stalǭ (compare Middle Low German stal, stale 'chair leg'), variant of *steluz, stelōn 'stalk' (compare Old English stela, Dutch steel, German Stiel, Danish stilk), from Proto-Indo-European *stel- (compare Albanian shtalkë (crossbeam, board used as a door hinge), Welsh telm (frond), Ancient Greek stélos 'beam', Old Armenian ստեղն (stełn, trunk, stalk)).

Noun[edit]

stalk (plural stalks)

  1. The stem or main axis of a plant, which supports the seed-carrying parts.
    a stalk of wheat, rye, or oats;  the stalks of maize or hemp
    • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, chapter 1, Nobody:
      Three chairs of the steamer type, all maimed, comprised the furniture of this roof-garden, with [] on one of the copings a row of four red clay flower-pots filled with sun-baked dust from which gnarled and rusty stalks thrust themselves up like withered elfin limbs.
  2. The petiole, pedicel, or peduncle of a plant.
  3. Something resembling the stalk of a plant, such as the stem of a quill.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Grew to this entry?)
  4. (architecture) An ornament in the Corinthian capital resembling the stalk of a plant, from which the volutes and helices spring.
  5. One of the two upright pieces of a ladder.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Chaucer to this entry?)
  6. (zoology) A stem or peduncle, as in certain barnacles and crinoids.
  7. (zoology) The narrow basal portion of the abdomen of a hymenopterous insect.
  8. (zoology) The peduncle of the eyes of decapod crustaceans.
  9. (metalworking) An iron bar with projections inserted in a core to strengthen it; a core arbor.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English stalken, from Old English -stealcian (as in Old English bestealcian (to move stealthily), stealcung (stalking)), from Proto-Germanic *stalkōną 'to move stealthily' (compare Dutch stelkeren, stolkeren 'to tip-toe, tread carefully', Danish stalke (to high step, stalk), Norwegian dialectal stalka 'to trudge'), from *stalkaz, *stelkaz (compare Old English stealc 'steep', Old Norse stelkr, stjalkr (knot (bird), red sandpiper)), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)telg, *(s)tolg- (compare Middle Irish tolg (strength), Lithuanian stalgùs (stiff, defiant, proud)).[1]

Alternate etymology connects Proto-Germanic *stalkōną 'to stalk, move stealthily', to a frequentative form of Proto-Germanic *stelaną 'to steal'.

Verb[edit]

stalk (third-person singular simple present stalks, present participle stalking, simple past and past participle stalked)

  1. (transitive) To approach slowly and quietly in order not to be discovered when getting closer.
    • Sir Walter Scott
      As for shooting a man from behind a wall, it is cruelly like to stalking a deer.
    • 1907, Robert Chambers, chapter 1/2, The Younger Set[1]:
      […] presently Selwyn lay prone upon the nursery floor, impersonating a ladrone while pleasant shivers chased themselves over Drina, whom he was stalking.
  2. (transitive) To (try to) follow or contact someone constantly, often resulting in harassment (Wikipedia).
    My ex-boyfriend is stalking me.
  3. (intransitive) To walk slowly and cautiously; to walk in a stealthy, noiseless manner.
    • Dryden
      [Bertran] stalks close behind her, like a witch's fiend, / Pressing to be employed.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
  4. (intransitive) To walk behind something, such as a screen, for the purpose of approaching game; to proceed under cover.
    • Francis Bacon
      The king [] crept under the shoulder of his led horse; [] "I must stalk," said he.
    • Drayton
      One underneath his horse, to get a shoot doth stalk.
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
Conjugation[edit]

Noun[edit]

stalk (plural stalks)

  1. A particular episode of trying to follow or contact someone.
  2. A hunt (of a wild animal).
Related terms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Robert K. Barnhart and Sol Steinmetz, eds., Chambers Dictionary of Etymology, s.v. "stalk2" (New York: Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd., 2006), 1057.

Etymology 3[edit]

1530, 'to walk haughtily', perhaps from Old English stealc 'steep', from Proto-Germanic *stelkaz, *stalkaz 'high, lofty, steep, stiff'; see above

Verb[edit]

stalk (third-person singular simple present stalks, present participle stalking, simple past and past participle stalked)

  1. (intransitive) To walk haughtily.
    • Dryden
      With manly mien he stalked along the ground.
    • Addison
      Then stalking through the deep, / He fords the ocean.
    • Mericale
      I forbear myself from entering the lists in which he has long stalked alone and unchallenged.
Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Verb[edit]

stalk

  1. first-person singular present indicative of stalken
  2. imperative of stalken