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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 skulker
Historical Examples
  • Have I told you that I thought him a skulker, a coward hiding to escape warfare?

    Fernley House Laura E. Richards
  • Milo was there, and Milo would see to it that no skulker declined his queen's command.

    The Pirate Woman Aylward Edward Dingle
  • After all, this skulker had more cause to be afraid of me than I of him.

  • Goodloe, what was the exact story about that skulker of a thief on the cross?

    The Heart's Kingdom

    Maria Thompson Daviess
  • But if the intended victim, suspicious, should get unseen into the creek bed, the skulker could hardly avoid a fight.

    Laramie Holds the Range

    Frank H. Spearman
  • No skulker had a chance of escape from his sharp eye, but, on the other hand, no hard-working servant was overlooked.

    Chasing the Sun R.M. Ballantyne
  • He loathed a skulker, and his face was known for any boy who would own to fatigue or confess himself beaten.

  • No need to call the roll, a skulker would have been detected and kicked into the ranks at the instant.

    Warrior Gap Charles King
  • He did not personally know that the summer-house was occupied, but he argued it from the movements of the other skulker.

    The Code of the Mountains Charles Neville Buck
  • If there be any skulker among us, blast my eyes if he shan't go down on his marrow bones and taste the liquor we have spilt!

    Complete Prose Works Walt Whitman
British Dictionary definitions for skulker


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 skulker



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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