or sculk

[ skuhlk ]
See synonyms for: skulkskulkedskulkingskulker on

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.

  1. British. to shirk duty; malinger.

  1. a person who skulks.

  2. a pack or group of foxes.

  1. Rare. an act or instance of skulking.

Origin of skulk

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English, from Scandinavian (not in Old Norse ); compare Danish, Norwegian skulke, Swedish skolka “to play hooky”

synonym study For skulk

1. See lurk.

Other words from skulk

  • skulker, noun
  • skulk·ing·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use skulk in a sentence

  • Later in the spring, she and Elisabeth saw another kind of heron, an American bittern, skulking in some grass by a swamp.

    One Year to Live | Olivia Gentile | April 12, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • The skulking, strutting, mincing, hurrying forms that pass us and fade out into the night are now becoming characters.

    My Wonderful Visit | Charlie Chaplin
  • Life would not be very valuable to me as a skulking criminal in a foreign country.

    The New Tenant | E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • I—vagabond—outcast—skulking through tricks to avoid crime—why the difference?

    Night and Morning, Complete | Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Skulking cats were flushed there, and sent flying over aristocratic bones, but there was no trace of Bobby.

    Greyfriars Bobby | Eleanor Atkinson
  • But that is an out-of-the-way part, Jack, and there may be some of those skulking thieves hanging about there.

British Dictionary definitions for skulk


/ (skʌlk) /

  1. to move stealthily so as to avoid notice

  2. to lie in hiding; lurk

  1. to shirk duty or evade responsibilities; malinger

  1. a person who skulks

  2. obsolete a pack of foxes or other animals that creep about stealthily

Origin of skulk

C13: of Scandinavian origin; compare Norwegian skulka to lurk, Swedish skolka, Danish skulke to shirk

Derived forms of skulk

  • skulker, noun

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