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skulk

or sculk

[skuhlk]
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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.
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noun
  1. a person who skulks.
  2. a pack or group of foxes.
  3. Rare. an act or instance of skulking.
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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

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1. See lurk.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for skulker

Historical Examples

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

    Fernley House

    Laura E. Richards

  • 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

  • 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


British Dictionary definitions for skulker

skulk

verb (intr)
  1. to move stealthily so as to avoid notice
  2. to lie in hiding; lurk
  3. to shirk duty or evade responsibilities; malinger
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noun
  1. a person who skulks
  2. obsolete a pack of foxes or other animals that creep about stealthily
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Derived Formsskulker, 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

Word Origin and History for skulker

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper