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v. balked, balk·ing, balks
1. To stop short and refuse to go on: The horse balked at the jump.
2. To refuse obstinately or abruptly: She balked at the very idea of compromise.
a. Sports To make an incomplete or misleading motion.
b. Baseball To make an illegal motion before pitching, allowing one or more base runners to advance one base.
1. To check or thwart by or as if by an obstacle.
2. Archaic To let go by; miss.
1. A hindrance, check, or defeat.
2. Sports An incomplete or misleading motion, especially an illegal move made by a baseball pitcher.
3. Games One of the spaces between the cushion and the balk line on a billiard table.
a. An unplowed strip of land.
b. A ridge between furrows.
5. A wooden beam or rafter.

[Middle English balken, to plow up in ridges, from balk, ridge, from Old English balca and from Old Norse balkr, beam.]

balk′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.balking - stopping short and refusing to go onbalking - stopping short and refusing to go on; "a balking"; "a balky mule"; "a balky customer"
intractable - not tractable; difficult to manage or mold; "an intractable disposition"; "intractable pain"; "the most intractable issue of our era"; "intractable metal"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
"Why--why--" stammered the youth strug- gling with his balking tongue.
Queues with balking and reneging often arise in practice, when there is a tendency of customers to be impatient due to a long queue.
I don't blame the council for balking. If the corporation counsel can't make the language clearer, those clauses should be eliminated.
Now, the state is balking at giving him the $1 million he's owed for all the years he spent wrongfully imprisoned.
Business management professor Pen-Yuan Liao of the National United University in Miaoli, Taiwan, has devised a scientific formula he refers to as the "balking index", which is referred to by the Greek letter theta.
Hesitating, or balking can cause trouble, and injuries: "!