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.
- Also stalk·ing-horse .
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use stalking horse in a sentence
Second, there isn't any reason to believe that Obama is using Goldberg as a stalking horse against Netanyahu.
He used a third-party spoiler candidate in the race, Don Sprouse, as an anti-Semitic stalking horse.Forced Abortions and other South Carolina Dirty Tricks | Ben Jacobs | January 21, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
Going into the vote, he was denounced as a stalking horse for the presidential aspirations of Barbour, the Mississippi governor.Reince Priebus Ousts Michael Steele as RNC Chairman | Samuel P. Jacobs, Shushannah Walshe | January 14, 2011 | THE DAILY BEAST
Back in 2006, Patrick was seen as a stalking horse for Obama.
Butts had been introduced as a stalking-horse, but there was no doubt about Si's admiration of his "handiness."The Magnetic North | Elizabeth Robins (C. E. Raimond)
It was the stalking horse behind which Offenbach hunted the follies of the day and bagged the absurdities of the hour.Kentucky in American Letters, v. 1 of 2 | John Wilson Townsend
For the same reason the passions are the main theme of poets and the stalking horse of actors.The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; Religion, A Dialogue, Etc. | Arthur Schopenhauer
"For my dough they've given up trying to find her and are using you for a stalking horse," he added with fiendish accuracy.Modus Vivendi | Gordon Randall Garrett
Better never profess than make profession a stalking horse to sin, deceit, the devil, and hell.'Bunyan | James Anthony Froude
British Dictionary definitions for stalking-horse
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
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