- a horse, or a figure of a horse, behind which a hunter hides in stalking game.
- anything put forward to mask plans or efforts; pretext.
- a political candidate used to conceal the candidacy of a more important figure or to draw votes from and cause the defeat of a rival.
Origin of stalking-horse
First recorded in 1510–20
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for stalking-horse
Incredible that he should have chosen Kitty for his stalking-horse—yet whom else had there been to choose?The Story of Louie
For many years we have been the butt of the Tibetans, and China their stalking-horse.The Unveiling of Lhasa
That revolt of Saint-Antoine got up by traitor Royalists for a stalking-horse?The French Revolution
The claim of kindred cannot for ever be the stalking-horse for injustice.'The Transvaal from Within
J. P. Fitzpatrick
Though she used him as a stalking-horse, he, after all, was playing with her as a cat plays with a mouse.Zuleika Dobson
- a horse or an imitation one used by a hunter to hide behind while stalking his quarry
- something serving as a means of concealing plans; pretext
- a candidate put forward by one group to divide the opposition or mask the candidacy of another person for whom the stalking-horse would then withdraw