Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[baw-kee] /ˈbɔ ki/
adjective, balkier, balkiest.
given to balking; stubborn; obstinate:
a balky mule.
Origin of balky
First recorded in 1840-50; balk + -y1
Related forms
balkily, adverb
balkiness, noun
contrary, perverse, headstrong, mulish, pigheaded. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for balky
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • O foolish minister, trying in that way to manage a balky parishioner!

    Around The Tea-Table T. De Witt Talmage
  • You buy a lot of half-broken, bucking, balky teams because you can get 'em cheap.

    A California Girl Edward Eldridge
  • But you know it's the truth that I'm balky at giving up everything in sight.

    August First Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews and Roy Irving Murray
  • It leaked, and it steered like a balky mule, but what of that?

    A Ticket to Adventure Roy J. Snell
  • The horse proved to be an obstreperous, balky thing, and as contrary as a mule.

    Twenty Years of Hus'ling J. P. Johnston
  • Stover came to a balky stop, hastily snatching away his derby.

    Stover at Yale Owen Johnson
  • I remember a balky horse that used sometimes to be in the livery barn in the city.

    White Dandy; or, Master and I Velma Caldwell Melville
  • A balky horse ought not to be trusted to a child of your age.'

  • She simply rolled down to the first incline and stopped there like a balky mule.

    Cabin Fever B. M. Bower
British Dictionary definitions for balky


/ˈbɔːkɪ; ˈbɔːlkɪ/
adjective balkier, balkiest, baulkier, baulkiest
inclined to stop abruptly and unexpectedly: a balky horse
Derived Forms
balkily, baulkily, adverb
balkiness, baulkiness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for balky

1847, from balk (n.) + -y (2). Related: Balkily; balkiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for balky

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for balky

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for balky