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skulk

or sculk

[skuhlk] /skʌlk/
verb (used without object)
1.
to lie or keep in hiding, as for some evil reason:
The thief skulked in the shadows.
2.
to move in a stealthy manner; slink:
The panther skulked through the bush.
3.
British. to shirk duty; malinger.
noun
4.
a person who skulks.
5.
a pack or group of foxes.
6.
Rare. an act or instance of skulking.
Origin of skulk
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English < Scandinavian (not in ON); compare Danish, Norwegian skulke, Swedish skolka play hooky
Related forms
skulker, noun
skulkingly, adverb
Synonyms
1. See lurk.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for skulking
Contemporary Examples
  • Later in the spring, she and Elisabeth saw another kind of heron, an American bittern, skulking in some grass by a swamp.

Historical Examples
  • Their notion of war was midnight skulking and shooting from behind safe cover.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • Certainly not; for that sort of thing is an excuse for skulking, and has been the ruin of many an army.

    The Republic Plato
  • The savages, flushed with success, were skulking every where.

    King Philip

    John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott
  • He thought he was in Castletown, skulking under the walls of the castle.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • The man that is tame in times of peace is a skulking woman in times of war.

    Love-at-Arms Raphael Sabatini
  • Some of them might be skulking around, glad to take a shot at us.

  • I'm not of the sort that go about skulking under false names.

    One Day More Joseph Conrad
  • Officers have the right of resigning, and some of them have the habit of skulking, I have heard.

    Shoulder-Straps Henry Morford
  • Or had the skulking Martian outside broken this lock as he had broken the other?

British Dictionary definitions for skulking

skulk

/skʌlk/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to move stealthily so as to avoid notice
2.
to lie in hiding; lurk
3.
to shirk duty or evade responsibilities; malinger
noun
4.
a person who skulks
5.
(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 skulking

skulk

v.

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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