Also found in: Thesaurus.
Related to balky: bally


pigheaded; contrary; stubborn; obstinate; perverse; mulish: The balky child refused to put on her shoes.
Not to be confused with:
bulky – large and cumbersome; massive; ponderous; unwieldy: The bulky package was hard to maneuver through the door.
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree


adj. balk·i·er, balk·i·est
1. Given to stopping and refusing to go on: a balky horse; a balky client.
2. Difficult to operate or start: a balky switch; a balky engine.

balk′i·ness 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.


(ˈbɔːkɪ; ˈbɔːlkɪ) or


adj, balkier, balkiest, baulkier or baulkiest
inclined to stop abruptly and unexpectedly: a balky horse.
ˈbalkily, ˈbaulkily adv
ˈbalkiness, ˈbaulkiness n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈbɔ ki)

adj. balk•i•er, balk•i•est.
given to balking; stubborn; obstinate.
balk′i•ly, adv.
balk′i•ness, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.balky - stopping short and refusing to go onbalky - 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.


Given to acting in opposition to others:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
"Yes, Amy was in despair that day, for all the good beasts were gone, and of three left, one was lame, one blind, and the other so balky that you had to put dirt in his mouth before he would start.
BEYOND any shade of doubt, it is a globally recognized fact that the students are the powerful assets of a nation but if these assets go balky, the development of nations per se becomes at best the hanging matter.
Addressing the hate, Aziz went on, 'To whom it may concern: Agr larki proposal k waqt roti nahi balky ek khushi k lamhe ko hans kar enjoy karti hai tou yeh nahi kehte k planned tha.
Williams came to Paris this time having withdrawn from each of her past two tournaments because of a balky left knee, and the one before that because of illness.
Neither one of us wanted to gut and rebuild a balky toilet, but it's good to know that we're both up to the task and not reliant on others when the plumbing goes south.
Wrestling with a balky putter in the final nine on Tuesday, Yuka Saso settled for a one-under-par 70 for a share of the Champion Philippine Ladies Open lead with Mafi Singson and a Thai at posh Manila Golf Club inside Forbes Park in Makati.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Joel Embiid stretched his balky back each time he had a moment's rest.
More likely, investors want out of retail stocks because the entire stock market has looked balky of late, the report added.
A similar sort of flub appeared in USA Today April 1, 2014): "The balky back that's forcing [Tiger Woods] to miss next week's Masters is surely the death knell in his quest for Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major championships.
Curiosity had obtained 15 samples on Mars before issues began cropping up with the balky drill feed in October 2016, which led to a temporary suspension of drilling operations.
The 5-foot-9 Thomas had bravely carried the Celtics in the 2017 postseason despite a balky hip and broken heart following his sister's death in a car crash.
Caption: If you have an orthopedic problem, such as balky knees, a top-flight surgeon can be invaluable.