Balk meaning

bôk
To stop short and refuse to go on.

The horse balked at the jump.

verb
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The definition of balk is to stop or hold back from doing something.

An example of something at which someone might balk is cleaning up a mess that he did not make.

An example of an animal that may balk is a mule.

verb
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To refuse obstinately or abruptly.

She balked at the very idea of compromise.

verb
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To check or thwart by or as if by an obstacle.
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Balk is defined as to create a hindrance or a barrier.

An example of something that may balk your chances to finish college is a refusal by a lender to provide financial aid.

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A ridge of unplowed land between furrows.
noun
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A roughly hewn piece of timber.
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A beam used in construction.
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Something that obstructs or thwarts; check, hindrance, disappointment, etc.
noun
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(obs.) A blunder; error.
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(baseball) An illegal motion by the pitcher, such as an uncompleted motion to throw to a base, while one foot is on the rubber: it entitles each base runner to advance one base.
noun
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(obs.) To make balks in (land)
verb
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To obstruct or thwart; foil.
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(archaic) To miss or let slip by.
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(baseball) To force (a base runner to score from third base) by committing a balk.
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To stop and obstinately refuse to move or act.
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To hesitate or recoil (at)
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To make a balk in baseball.
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Ridge, an unplowed strip of land.
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A hindrance or disappointment; a check.
noun
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A sudden and obstinate stop; a failure.
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(sports) Deceptive motion; feint.
  • (baseball) An illegal motion by the pitcher, intended to deceive a runner.
  • (badminton) Motion used to deceive an opponent during a serve.
noun
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(archaic) To pass over or by.
verb
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To omit, miss, or overlook by chance.
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Bishop Hall.

Sick he is, and keeps his bed, and balks his meat.

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Drayton.

Nor doth he any creature balk, / But lays on all he meeteth.

verb
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To stop, check, block.
verb
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To stop short and refuse to go on.

The horse balked.

verb
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To refuse suddenly.
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To disappoint; to frustrate; to foil; to baffle; to thwart.

To balk expectation.

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To engage in contradiction; to be in opposition.
verb
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To leave or make balks in.

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To leave heaped up; to heap up in piles.
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To indicate to fishermen, by shouts or signals from shore, the direction taken by the shoals of herring.
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(archaic) To let go by; miss.
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A hindrance, check, or defeat.
noun
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(sports) An incomplete or misleading motion, especially an illegal move made by a baseball pitcher.
noun
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(games) One of the spaces between the cushion and the balk line on a billiard table.
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A wooden beam or rafter.
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Origin of balk

  • Middle English balken to plow up in ridges from balk ridge from Old English balca and from Old Norse balkr beam

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English balke, Old English balca, either from or influenced by Old Norse bálkr (“partition, ridge of land”), from Proto-Germanic *balkô. Cognate with German Balken (“balk”), Italian balcone (“balcony”).

    From Wiktionary

  • Probably from Dutch balken (“to bray, bawl”).

    From Wiktionary