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See more synonyms for stalk on Thesaurus.com
  1. the stem or main axis of a plant.
  2. any slender supporting or connecting part of a plant, as the petiole of a leaf, the peduncle of a flower, or the funicle of an ovule.
  3. a similar structural part of an animal.
  4. a stem, shaft, or slender supporting part of anything.
  5. Automotive. a slender lever, usually mounted on or near the steering wheel, that is used by the driver to control a signal or function: The horn button is on the turn-signal stalk.
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Origin of stalk1

1275–1325; Middle English stalke, apparently equivalent to Old English stal(u) stave + -k diminutive suffix
Related formsstalk·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for stalklike

Historical Examples

  • A stalklike structure, the optic nerve, connects the eye with the brain.

    A Civic Biology

    George William Hunter

  • I have looked into your owlish eyes and watched you go flitting over the sand on your thin, stalklike legs?

    The Man the Martians Made

    Frank Belknap Long

British Dictionary definitions for stalklike


  1. the main stem of a herbaceous plant
  2. any of various subsidiary plant stems, such as a leafstalk (petiole) or flower stalk (peduncle)
  3. a slender supporting structure in animals such as crinoids and certain protozoans, coelenterates, and barnacles
  4. any long slender supporting shaft or column
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Derived Formsstalked, adjectivestalkless, adjectivestalklike, adjective

Word Origin

C14: probably a diminutive formed from Old English stalu upright piece of wood; related to Old Frisian staal handle


  1. to follow or approach (game, prey, etc) stealthily and quietly
  2. to pursue persistently and, sometimes, attack (a person with whom one is obsessed, often a celebrity)
  3. to spread over (a place) in a menacing or grim mannerfever stalked the camp
  4. (intr) to walk in a haughty, stiff, or threatening wayhe stalked out in disgust
  5. to search or draw (a piece of land) for prey
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  1. the act of stalking
  2. a stiff or threatening stride
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Derived Formsstalker, noun

Word Origin

Old English bestealcian to walk stealthily; related to Middle Low German stolkeren, Danish stalke
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 stalklike



"stem of a plant," early 14c., probably a diminutive (with -k suffix) of stale "one of the uprights of a ladder, handle, stalk," from Old English stalu "wooden part" (as of a harp), from Proto-Germanic *stalo; related to Old English steala "stalk, support," and steall "place" (see stall (n.1)).

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"pursue stealthily," Old English -stealcian, as in bestealcian "to steal along," from Proto-Germanic *stalkojanan, probably from a frequentative of the root of steal (cf. hark from hear, talk from tell). Or it may be from a sense of stalk (v.1), influenced by stalk (n.). Meaning "harass obsessively" first recorded 1991. Related: Stalked; stalking.

A stalking-horse was literally a horse trained to allow a fowler to conceal himself behind it to get within range of the game; figurative sense of "person who participates in a proceeding to disguise its real purpose" is recorded from 1610s.

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"walk haughtily" (opposite meaning of stalk (v.1)) is 1520s, perhaps from stalk (n.) with a notion of "long, awkward strides," or from Old English stealcung "a stalking," related to stealc "steep, lofty."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

stalklike in Medicine


  1. A slender or elongated support or structure, as one that connects or supports an organ.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

stalklike in Science


  1. The main stem of a plant.
  2. A slender structure that supports a plant part, such as a flower or leaf.
  3. A slender supporting structure in certain other organisms, such as the reproductive structure in plasmodial slime molds or the part of a mushroom below the cap.
  4. A slender supporting or connecting part of an animal, such as the eyestalk of a lobster.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.