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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 skulked
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Kaffir did not condescend to make answer, but skulked into the hut.

    The Giraffe Hunters Mayne Reid
  • And so she got away, and skulked slowly up stairs to her own room.

    Orley Farm

    Anthony Trollope
  • It had long since skulked off, but no one thought of pursuit, as all were too anxious about Jan.

    The Bush Boys Captain Mayne Reid
  • They have skulked out, like traitors as they be, knowing our absence at the feast.

  • I skulked in the scrub as he came up—just behind a clump of wattle.

    Colonial Born G. Firth Scott
  • They skulked along the watercourse and at the edge of the thicket.

    The Trail Boys on the Plains Jay Winthrop Allen
  • You have skulked this question long enough; you will have to account for them!

    The Shakespearean Myth Appleton Morgan
  • While the magic lantern was showing, I skulked without in the dark.

    In the South Seas Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Mr. St. John went on, and Lewis skulked to his seat, in his wake.

British Dictionary definitions for skulked


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 skulked



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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