skulk

or sculk

[skuhlk]

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.

noun

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 formsskulk·er, nounskulk·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms for skulk

1. See lurk.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for skulked

Contemporary Examples of skulked

Historical Examples of skulked

  • The Kaffir did not condescend to make answer, but skulked into the hut.

  • And so she got away, and skulked slowly up stairs to her own room.

    Orley Farm

    Anthony Trollope

  • It had long since skulked off, but no one thought of pursuit, as all were too anxious about Jan.

    The Bush Boys

    Captain Mayne Reid

  • They have skulked out, like traitors as they be, knowing our absence at the feast.

  • I skulked in the scrub as he came up—just behind a clump of wattle.

    Colonial Born

    G. Firth Scott


British Dictionary definitions for skulked

skulk

verb (intr)

to move stealthily so as to avoid notice
to lie in hiding; lurk
to shirk duty or evade responsibilities; malinger

noun

a person who skulks
obsolete a pack of foxes or other animals that creep about stealthily
Derived Formsskulker, noun

Word Origin for skulk

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

Word Origin and History for skulked

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