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stalk 1

a. A stem or main axis of a herbaceous plant.
b. A stem or similar structure that supports a plant part such as a flower, flower cluster, or leaf.
2. A slender or elongated support or structure, as one that holds up an organ or another body part.

[Middle English, probably diminutive of stale, upright of a ladder, post, handle, from Old English stalu; see stel- in Indo-European roots.]

stalk′y adj.

stalk 2

v. stalked, stalk·ing, stalks
1. To pursue or track (prey) stealthily: The lions stalked the zebra from the tall grass.
2. To follow or observe (a person) persistently, especially out of obsession or derangement.
3. To go through (an area) in pursuit of prey or quarry.
1. To walk with a stiff, haughty, or angry gait: stalked off in a huff.
2. To move threateningly or menacingly.
3. To track prey or quarry.

[Middle English stalken, from Old English -stealcian, to move stealthily (in bestealcian).]

stalk′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.


adj, stalkier or stalkiest
1. like a stalk; slender and tall
2. having or abounding in stalks
ˈstalkily adv
ˈstalkiness n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
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References in classic literature ?
Stalky be an athlete, and tell Ipps to put him in the stable room."
Is he a Yao--like the fellow Wade brought here--when your housekeeper had fits?" Stalky often visits the Infant, and has seen some odd things.
"And what is this uniform?" Stalky asked of Imam Din, the servant, who came to attention on the marble floor.
"And--and you white men wait at table on horseback?" Stalky pointed to the man's spurs.
Stalky asked him how much leave he had, and he said "Six months."
Wonder what my second in command is doing." Stalky tugged his moustache, and fell to thinking of his Sikhs.
What was your Chief like?" Stalky asked, in his silkiest tones.
Because I've heard from other quarters" Stalky's sentence burned like a slow match, but the explosion was not long delayed.
"That sounds promising." Stalky reached for a fresh cigarette.
"Now for the direct expression," said Stalky, and moved on the Burgundy recommended by the faculty to enrich fever-thinned blood.
"Naturally burn the villages before lunch," said Stalky.
In those early days she had been much loved by others of her own sex and age, and had used to be seen about the village as one of three--all nearly of the same year--walking home from school side by side; Tess the middle one--in a pink print pinafore, of a finely reticulated pattern, worn over a stuff frock that had lost its original colour for a nondescript tertiary--marching on upon long stalky legs, in tight stockings which had little ladder-like holes at the knees, torn by kneeling in the roads and banks in search of vegetable and mineral treasures; her then earth-coloured hair handing like pot-hooks; the arms of the two outside girls resting round the waist of Tess; her arms on the shoulders of the two supporters.