Pronunciation Noun

stalk (plural stalks)

  1. The stem or main axis of a plant, which supports the seed-carrying parts.
    a stalk of wheat, rye, or oats;  the stalks of maize or hemp
    • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, chapter I, in Nobody, New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, published 1915, OCLC 40817384 ↗:
      Three chairs of the steamer type, all maimed, comprised the furniture of this roof-garden, with […] on one of the copings a row of four red clay flower-pots filled with sun-baked dust from which gnarled and rusty stalks thrust themselves up like withered elfin limbs.
  2. The petiole, pedicel, or peduncle of a plant.
  3. Something resembling the stalk of a plant, such as the stem of a quill.
  4. (architecture) An ornament in the Corinthian capital resembling the stalk of a plant, from which the volutes and helices spring.
  5. One of the two upright pieces of a ladder.
  6. (zoology)
    1. A stem or peduncle, as in certain barnacles and crinoids.
    2. The narrow basal portion of the abdomen of a hymenopterous insect.
    3. The peduncle of the eyes of decapod crustaceans.
  7. (metalworking) An iron bar with projections inserted in a core to strengthen it; a core arbor.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

stalk (stalks, present participle stalking; past and past participle stalked)

  1. (transitive) To approach slowly and quietly in order not to be discovered when getting closer.
    • 1822, [Walter Scott], Peveril of the Peak. [...] In Four Volumes, volume (please specify ), Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Hurst, Robinson, and Co., OCLC 2392685 ↗:
    • 1907, Robert William Chambers, chapter I, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326 ↗:
      But they had already discovered that he could be bullied, and they had it their own way; and presently Selwyn lay prone upon the nursery floor, impersonating a ladrone while pleasant shivers chased themselves over Drina, whom he was stalking.
  2. (transitive) To (try to) follow or contact someone constantly, often resulting in harassment.Stalking
    My ex-girlfriend is stalking me.
  3. (intransitive) To walk slowly and cautiously; to walk in a stealthy, noiseless manner.
    • [Bertran] stalks close behind her, like a witch's fiend, / Pressing to be employed.
  4. (intransitive) To walk behind something, such as a screen, for the purpose of approaching game; to proceed under cover.
    • 1625, Francis Bacon, Apophthegms
      The king […] crept under the shoulder of his led horse; […] "I must stalk," said he.
    • One underneath his horse, to get a shoot doth stalk.