Stalking-horse meaning

stôkĭng-hôrs
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Something used to cover one's true purpose; a decoy.
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A sham candidate put forward to conceal the candidacy of another or to divide the opposition.
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A horse, or a figure of a horse, used as cover by a hunter stalking game.
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Anything used to disguise or conceal intentions, schemes, or activities; blind.
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(politics) A person whose candidacy is advanced temporarily to conceal the actual choice or to divide the opposition.
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(dated) A horse used as cover by a hunter stalking game.
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(politics) A candidate put forward instead of any of several potentially successful candidates in order to initiate a leadership debate, gauge feelings, divide opposition etc.
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(dated) A horse used as cover by a hunter stalking game,
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(idiomatic, politics) A candidate put forward to serve a hidden, ulterior purpose in a political campaign, such as testing the field for another potential candidate by gauging voter sentiment or covertly helping another candidate by attracting voters away from a third candidate.
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(idiomatic, by extension) A person, thing, or expedient used in a deceptive manner, to achieve some hidden purpose; a pretext or ruse.
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