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or sculk

[skuhlk] /skʌlk/
verb (used without object)
to lie or keep in hiding, as for some evil reason:
The thief skulked in the shadows.
to move in a stealthy manner; slink:
The panther skulked through the bush.
British. to shirk duty; malinger.
a person who skulks.
a pack or group of foxes.
Rare. an act or instance of skulking.
Origin of skulk
1175-1225; Middle English < Scandinavian (not in ON); compare Danish, Norwegian skulke, Swedish skolka play hooky
Related forms
skulker, noun
skulkingly, adverb
1. See lurk. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for skulk
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He does not shuffle or prevaricate, dodge or skulk; but is honest, upright, and straightforward.

    Self-Help Samuel Smiles
  • He didn't mean to skulk like a whipped cur about his own decks.

    The Rescue Joseph Conrad
  • Instead, he must skulk in the thicket like a coyote until the man passed.

    Prairie Flowers

    James B. Hendryx
  • Sit there and skulk, while the others do the work, would you?

    Cutlass and Cudgel George Manville Fenn
  • I suppose you thought that, being off duty, you could skulk in your cabin and do nothing.

    Under the Chilian Flag Harry Collingwood
  • On coming within sight of us, the figure was seen to skulk and hide in the bushes.

    The War Trail Mayne Reid
  • "We do not skulk any longer like rats or city men in dark holes," he told them.

    The Defiant Agents Andre Alice Norton
  • Everything has seemed to cower, skulk, and hide, to run as if pursued.

    The Face of the Fields Dallas Lore Sharp
  • Yet no matter how you may hide and skulk and hunt, never a glimpse of one of them will you get.

    Everyday Adventures Samuel Scoville
British Dictionary definitions for skulk


verb (intransitive)
to move stealthily so as to avoid notice
to lie in hiding; lurk
to shirk duty or evade responsibilities; malinger
a person who skulks
(obsolete) a pack of foxes or other animals that creep about stealthily
Derived Forms
skulker, noun
Word Origin
C13: of Scandinavian origin; compare Norwegian skulka to lurk, Swedish skolka, Danish skulke to shirk
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
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Word Origin and History for skulk

c.1200, from a Scandinavian source, cf. Norwegian skulke "to shirk, malinger," Danish skulke "to spare oneself, shirk," Swedish skolka "to shirk, skulk, slink, play truant." Common in Middle English but lacking in 15c.-16c. records; possibly reborrowed 17c. Related: Skulked; skulking; skulker; skulkery.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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