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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for skulker
Historical Examples
  • He loathed a skulker, and his face was known for any boy who would own to fatigue or confess himself beaten.

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

    Fernley House Laura E. Richards
  • 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
  • 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
  • The Provost Marshal apparently demanded the skulker's name, and wrote it in a book.

    The Red Acorn John McElroy
  • 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
  • The third skulker took advantage of the cessation of firing to tumble down from his perch and fly for his life.

    Overland John William De Forest
  • 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
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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