or baulk

[ bawk ]
/ bɔk /

verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

to place an obstacle in the way of; hinder; thwart: a sudden reversal that balked her hopes.
Archaic. to let slip; fail to use: to balk an opportunity.


Nearby words

  1. balinese cat,
  2. baliol,
  3. baliol, john de,
  4. balisage,
  5. balistraria,
  6. balkan,
  7. balkan frame,
  8. balkan mountains,
  9. balkan peninsula,
  10. balkan states


    in balk, inside any of the spaces in back of the balklines on a billiard table.

Origin of balk

before 900; Middle English; Old English balca covering, beam, ridge; cognate with Old Norse bǫlkr bar, partition, Dutch balk, Old Saxon balko, German Balken, Old Norse bjalki beam, Old English bolca plank; perhaps akin to Latin sufflāmen, Slovene blazína, Lithuanian balžíenas beam. See balcony

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for balks

British Dictionary definitions for balks



/ (bɔːk, bɔːlk) /



See also baulk

Derived Formsbalker or baulker, noun

Word Origin for balk

Old English balca; related to Old Norse bálkr partition, Old High German balco beam

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

Word Origin and History for balks
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper