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1. Something used to cover one's true purpose; a decoy.
2. A sham candidate put forward to conceal the candidacy of another or to divide the opposition.
a. A horse trained to conceal the hunter while stalking.
b. A canvas screen made in the figure of a horse, used for similar concealment.


1. (Hunting) a horse or an imitation one used by a hunter to hide behind while stalking his quarry
2. something serving as a means of concealing plans; pretext
3. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) 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


1. a horse, or a figure of a horse, behind which a hunter hides in stalking game.
2. anything used to mask one's true plans; pretext.
3. a political candidate put forth to conceal the candidacy of another person or to draw votes from a rival.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.stalking-horse - a candidate put forward to divide the Opposition or to mask the true candidate
campaigner, candidate, nominee - a politician who is running for public office
2.stalking-horse - something serving to conceal plans; a fictitious reason that is concocted in order to conceal the real reason
dissembling, feigning, pretense, pretence - pretending with intention to deceive
putoff - a pretext for delay or inaction
3.stalking-horse - screen consisting of a figure of a horse behind which a hunter hides while stalking game
cover, covert, concealment, screen - a covering that serves to conceal or shelter something; "a screen of trees afforded privacy"; "under cover of darkness"; "the brush provided a covert for game"; "the simplest concealment is to match perfectly the color of the background"
4.stalking-horse - a horse behind which a hunter hides while stalking game
Equus caballus, horse - solid-hoofed herbivorous quadruped domesticated since prehistoric times


n (fig: = person) → Strohmann m/-frau f; (= pretext)Vorwand m
References in classic literature ?
We thought this very characteristic of his eccentric gentleness and of the difference between him and those petulant people who make the weather and the winds (particularly that unlucky wind which he had chosen for such a different purpose) the stalking-horses of their splenetic and gloomy humours.
He will have with him the two stalking-horse candidates suggested as possible alternative leaders, middle-order batsmen Joe Root and Eoin Morgan, and his new attacking foil at the top of the order, Alex Hales.
On July 14, Glenn approved a procedure to auction Borders' assets that made a group of liquidators, rather than Najafi's BB Brands, the so-called stalking-horse bidder.