from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A stem or main axis of a herbaceous plant.
  • n. A stem or similar structure that supports a plant part such as a flower, flower cluster, or leaf.
  • n. A slender or elongated support or structure, as one that holds up an organ or another body part.
  • intransitive v. To walk with a stiff, haughty, or angry gait: stalked off in a huff.
  • intransitive v. To move threateningly or menacingly.
  • intransitive v. To track prey or quarry.
  • transitive v. To pursue by tracking stealthily.
  • transitive v. To follow or observe (a person) persistently, especially out of obsession or derangement.
  • transitive v. To go through (an area) in pursuit of prey or quarry.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The longish piece that supports the seed-carrying parts of a plant.
  • v. To approach slowly and quietly in order not to be discovered when getting closer.
  • v. To (try to) follow or contact someone constantly, often resulting in harassment (Wikipedia).
  • n. A particular episode of trying to follow or contact someone.
  • n. A hunt.
  • v. To walk haughtily.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.
  • n. The stem or main axis of a plant
  • n. The petiole, pedicel, or peduncle, of a plant.
  • n. That which resembles the stalk of a plant, as the stem of a quill.
  • n. An ornament in the Corinthian capital resembling the stalk of a plant, from which the volutes and helices spring.
  • n. One of the two upright pieces of a ladder.
  • n.
  • n. A stem or peduncle, as of certain barnacles and crinoids.
  • n. The narrow basal portion of the abdomen of a hymenopterous insect.
  • n. The peduncle of the eyes of decapod crustaceans.
  • n. An iron bar with projections inserted in a core to strengthen it; a core arbor.
  • n. A high, proud, stately step or walk.
  • n. The act or process of stalking.
  • intransitive v. To walk slowly and cautiously; to walk in a stealthy, noiseless manner; -- sometimes used with a reflexive pronoun.
  • intransitive v. To walk behind something as a screen, for the purpose of approaching game; to proceed under cover.
  • intransitive v. To walk with high and proud steps; -- usually implying the affectation of dignity, and indicating dislike. The word is used, however, especially by the poets, to express dignity of step.
  • transitive v. To approach under cover of a screen, or by stealth, for the purpose of killing, as game.
  • transitive v. To follow (a person) persistently, with or without attempts to evade detection.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To walk cautiously or stealthily; steal along; creep.
  • To steal up to game under cover of something else; hunt game by approaching stealthily and warily behind a cover.
  • To walk with slow, dignified strides; pace in a lofty, imposing manner.
  • In sporting, to pursue stealthily, or behind a cover; follow warily for the purpose of killing, as game.
  • n. The pursuit of game by stealthy approach or under cover.
  • n. A high, proud, stately step or walk.
  • n. The stem or main axis of a plant; that part of a plant which rises directly from the root, and which usually supports the leaves, flowers, and fruit: as, a stalk of wheat or hemp.
  • n. The pedicel of a flower or the peduncle of a flower-cluster (flower-stalk), the petiole of a leaf (leafstalk), the stipe of an ovary, etc., or any similar supporting organ; in mosses, a seta.
  • n. A straw.
  • n. In architecture, an ornament in the Corinthian capital which resembles the stalk of a plant, and is sometimes fluted. From it the volutes or helices spring. Compare caulis and cauliculus.
  • n. One of the upright side-pieces of a ladder, in which the rounds or steps are placed.
  • n. The shaft or handle of anything, especially when slender, likened to the stalk of a plant; the stem: as, the stalk of a wine-glass; the stalk of a tobacco-pipe.
  • n. In zoology, some part or organ like a stalk; a stem; a stipe.
  • n. A tall chimney, as of a furnace, factory, or laboratory.
  • n. In founding, an iron rod armed with spikes, used to form the nucleus of a core.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. material consisting of seed coverings and small pieces of stem or leaves that have been separated from the seeds
  • v. follow stealthily or recur constantly and spontaneously to
  • v. walk stiffly
  • n. a hunt for game carried on by following it stealthily or waiting in ambush
  • n. a stiff or threatening gait
  • n. a slender or elongated structure that supports a plant or fungus or a plant part or plant organ
  • v. go through (an area) in search of prey
  • n. the act of following prey stealthily


Middle English, probably diminutive of stale, upright of a ladder, post, handle, from Old English stalu; see stel- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English stalken, from Old English -stealcian, to move stealthily (in bestealcian).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English stalke, diminutive of stale 'ladder upright, stalk', from Old English stalu 'wooden upright', from Proto-Germanic *stalōn (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")). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English stalken, from Old English -stealcian (as in Old English bestealcian ("to move stealthily"), stealcung ("stalking")), from Proto-Germanic *stalkōnan '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")). (Wiktionary)
1530, 'to walk haughtily', perhaps from Old English stealc 'steep', from Proto-Germanic *stelkaz, *stalkaz 'high, lofty, steep, stiff'; see above (Wiktionary)



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