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[wawk] /wɔk/
verb (used without object)
to advance or travel on foot at a moderate speed or pace; proceed by steps; move by advancing the feet alternately so that there is always one foot on the ground in bipedal locomotion and two or more feet on the ground in quadrupedal locomotion.
to move about or travel on foot for exercise or pleasure:
We can walk in the park after lunch.
(of things) to move in a manner suggestive of walking, as through repeated vibrations or the effect of alternate expansion and contraction:
He typed so hard that the lamp walked right off the desk.
Baseball. to receive a base on balls.
  1. to go on strike; stage a walkout:
    The miners will walk unless they get a pay raise.
  2. to be acquitted or to be released or fined rather than sentenced to jail:
    If the prosecutor doesn't present his case well, the murderer may walk.
to go about on the earth, or appear to living persons, as a ghost:
to believe that spirits walk at night.
(of a tool, pointer, or pen of a recording device, etc.) to glide, slip, or move from a straight course, fixed position, or the like:
A regular drill bit may walk on a plastic surface when you first try to make a hole. When the earthquake started, the pen on the seismograph walked all over the paper.
to conduct oneself in a particular manner; pursue a particular course of life:
to walk humbly with thy God.
Basketball. (of a player in possession of the ball) to take more than two steps without dribbling or passing the ball.
Obsolete. to be in motion or action.
verb (used with object)
to proceed through, over, or upon at a moderate pace on foot:
walking London streets by night; walking the floor all night.
to cause to walk; lead, drive, or ride at a walk, as an animal:
We walked our horses the last quarter of a mile.
to force or help to walk, as a person:
They were walking him around the room soon after his operation.
to conduct or accompany on a walk:
He walked them about the park.
to move (a box, trunk, or other object) in a manner suggestive of walking, as by a rocking motion.
Baseball. (of a pitcher) to give a base on balls to (a batter).
to spend or pass (time) in walking (often followed by away):
We walked the morning away along the beach.
to cause or accomplish by walking:
We saw them walking guard over the chain gang.
to examine, measure, etc., by traversing on foot:
to walk a track; to walk the boundaries of the property.
Basketball. to advance (the ball) by taking more than two steps without dribbling or passing.
Informal. to send (a person who has a reservation at a hotel) to another hotel because of overbooking:
It's exasperating to find yourself walked when you arrive at a hotel late in the evening.
an act or instance of walking or going on foot.
a period of walking for exercise or pleasure:
to go for a walk.
a distance walked or to be walked, often in terms of the time required:
not more than ten minutes' walk from town.
the gait or pace of a person or an animal that walks.
a characteristic or individual manner of walking:
It was impossible to mistake her walk.
a department or branch of activity, or a particular line of work:
They found every walk of life closed against them.
Baseball. base on balls.
a path or way for pedestrians at the side of a street or road; sidewalk.
a place prepared or set apart for walking.
a path in a garden or the like.
a passage between rows of trees.
an enclosed yard, pen, or the like where domestic animals are fed and left to exercise.
the walk, race walking.
a sheepwalk.
a ropewalk.
(in the West Indies) a plantation of trees, especially coffee trees.
a group, company, or congregation, especially of snipes.
  1. the route of a street vendor, tradesman, or the like.
  2. the district or area in which such a route is located.
  3. a tract of forest land under the charge of one forester or keeper.
Archaic. manner of behavior; conduct; course of life.
Obsolete. a haunt or resort.
Verb phrases
walk off, to get rid of by walking:
to walk off a headache.
walk off with,
  1. to remove illegally; steal.
  2. to win or attain, as in a competition:
    to walk off with the first prize for flower arrangements.
  3. to surpass one's competitors; win easily:
    to walk off with the fight.
walk out,
  1. to go on strike.
  2. to leave in protest:
    to walk out of a committee meeting.
walk out on, to leave unceremoniously; desert; forsake:
to walk out on one's family.
walk out with, British. to court or be courted by:
Cook is walking out with the chauffeur.
walk through, Theater, Television.
  1. to release (a play) by combining a reading aloud of the lines with the designated physical movements.
  2. Informal. to perform (a role, play, etc.) in a perfunctory manner.
  3. to make little or no effort in performing one's role:
    He didn't like the script and walked through his part.
walk up, (of a hunter) to flush (game) by approaching noisily on foot and often with hunting dogs.
take a walk, Informal. to leave, especially abruptly and without any intention or prospect of returning (often used imperatively to indicate dismissal):
If he doesn't get his way, he takes a walk. I don't need your advice, so take a walk.
walk (someone) through, to guide or instruct carefully one step at a time:
The teacher will walk the class through the entire testing procedure before the real test begins.
walk Spanish,
  1. to be forced by another to walk on tiptoe.
  2. to walk cautiously.
  3. to be discharged or dismissed.
  4. to discharge or dismiss (someone).
walk the plank. plank (def 8).
Origin of walk
before 1000; (v.) Middle English walken, Old English wealcan to roll, toss, gewealcan to go; cognate with Dutch, German walken to full (cloth), Old Norse vālka to toss; (noun) Middle English, derivative of the v.
Related forms
unwalked, adjective
1. step, stride, stroll, saunter, ambulate, perambulate, promenade. 22. stroll, promenade, constitutional. 25. step, carriage. 27. sphere, area, field. 29, 30. passage, footpath, alley, avenue. 33. run.

race walking

the sport of rapid, continuous-foot-contact walking, requiring that the trailing foot not be lifted until the other meets the ground and the knee locks momentarily, and executed in an upright, rhythmic stride with the arms usually held bent and high and pumped close to the body.
Also called walking, the walk, heel-and-toe racing.
Compare power walking.
Related forms
race walker, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for walk
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To the disgust of the latter, Robert actually had the presumption to walk home with Hester.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • At Percival's suggestion of a walk, Miss Milbrey was delighted.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • "I'll walk a bit with you," said his sister, donning her jacket and a cap.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • "You'll be too proud to walk with your ould mother," said Mrs. Malone.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • I had hard work to get them along, and at last they would not walk.

British Dictionary definitions for walk


(intransitive) to move along or travel on foot at a moderate rate; advance in such a manner that at least one foot is always on the ground
(transitive) to pass through, on, or over on foot, esp habitually
(transitive) to cause, assist, or force to move along at a moderate rate: to walk a dog
(transitive) to escort or conduct by walking: to walk someone home
(intransitive) (of ghosts, spirits, etc) to appear or move about in visible form
(of inanimate objects) to move or cause to move in a manner that resembles walking
(intransitive) to follow a certain course or way of life: to walk in misery
(transitive) to bring into a certain condition by walking: I walked my shoes to shreds
(transitive) to measure, survey, or examine by walking
(transitive) (baseball) to allow a batter to go to first base without batting by throwing four balls outside of the strike zone
(intransitive) (basketball) Also travel. to take more than two steps without passing or dribbling the ball
to disappear or be stolen: where's my pencil? It seems to have walked
(intransitive) (slang, mainly US) (in a court of law) to be acquitted or given a noncustodial sentence
walk it, to win easily
walk the plank, See plank1 (sense 4)
walk on air, to be delighted or exhilarated
(informal) walk tall, to have self-respect or pride
walk the streets
  1. to be a prostitute
  2. to wander round a town or city, esp when looking for work or having nowhere to stay
(informal) walk the walk, walk the talk, to put theory into practice: you can talk the talk but can you walk the walk? See also talk (sense 15)
the act or an instance of walking
the distance or extent walked
a manner of walking; gait
a place set aside for walking; promenade
a chosen profession or sphere of activity (esp in the phrase walk of life)
a foot race in which competitors walk
  1. an arrangement of trees or shrubs in widely separated rows
  2. the space between such rows
an enclosed ground for the exercise or feeding of domestic animals, esp horses
(mainly Brit) the route covered in the course of work, as by a tradesman or postman
a procession; march: Orange walk
(obsolete) the section of a forest controlled by a keeper
Derived Forms
walkable, adjective
Word Origin
Old English wealcan; related to Old High German walchan, Sanskrit valgati he moves
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 walk

Old English wealcan "to toss, roll," and wealcian "to roll up, curl, muffle up," from Proto-Germanic *welk- (cf. Old Norse valka "to drag about," Danish valke "to full," Middle Dutch walken "to knead, press, full," Old High German walchan "to knead," German walken "to full"), perhaps ultimately from PIE root *wel- "to turn, bend, twist, roll" (see volvox).

Meaning shifted in early Middle English, perhaps from colloquial use of the Old English word. "Rarely is there so specific a word as NE walk, clearly distinguished from both go and run" [Buck]. Meaning "to go away" is recorded from mid-15c. Transitive meaning "to exercise a dog (or horse)" is from late 15c. The surname Walker probably preserves the cloth-fulling sense. Related: Walked; walking.


late 14c., "act of walking" (see walk (v.)). The noun meaning "broad path in a garden" is from 1530s; walk of life is from 1752. Sports sense of "base on balls" is recorded from 1905. To win in a walk (1854) is from horse racing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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walk in Medicine

walk (wôk)
v. walked, walk·ing, walks
To move over a surface by taking steps with the feet at a pace slower than a run. n.

  1. The gait of a human in which the feet are lifted alternately with one part of a foot always on the ground.

  2. The characteristic way in which one walks.

race walking n.
The sport of walking for speed, the rules of which require the racer to maintain continual foot contact with the ground and to keep the supporting leg straight at the knee when that leg is directly below the body. Also called PowerWalking.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for walk



  1. (also, earlier, walk free) To be released from prison (1970s+)
  2. To be acquitted of or otherwise freed from a criminal indictment: more killers walk because of the incompetence of arresting officers/ Actually, I'm gonna cop a plea. A $15 fine and I'll walk (late 1950s+)
  3. (also, fr 1890s, walk out) To go out on strike: Several more Caterpillar locals have decided to walk (1970s+ Labor unions)
  4. To leave someone, esp a spouse or lover; get lost, take a hike: She said if he didn't straighten out he could walk

Related Terms

french walk, take a walk, win in a walk

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with walk
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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