balk


balk
baulk, balk
1. pronunciation.
It should be pronounced bawlk (with l).
2. spelling.
The usual BrE spelling is baulk, although balk is more common in AmE. The primary use is as a verb meaning (1) followed by at: ‘to hesitate, refuse to go on’, as in

• For one thing, the government may baulk at giving the financial guarantee —New Scientist, 1991

(2) followed by of: ‘to thwart’, as in

• I gave her the number and hung up feeling baulked of my escape —L. R. Banks, 1987

• Fenella had the feeling that they were simply mustering their strength again; they had been baulked of their prey and they had retired —B. Wood, 1993.

There are a few technical noun meanings, including a line in billiards and snooker and a length of sawn timber; the same spelling rules apply.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Balk — ist der Name folgender Personen Alfred Balk (1930–2010), US amerikanischer Journalist und Herausgeber Fairuza Balk (* 1974), US amerikanische Filmschauspielerin Hermann von Balk († 1239), Ritter des deutschen Ordens im 13. Jahrhundert Justin Balk …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Balk — Balk, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Balked} (b[add]kt); p. pr. & vb. n. {Balking}.] [From {Balk} a beam; orig. to put a balk or beam in one s way, in order to stop or hinder. Cf., for sense 2, AS. on balcan legan to lay in heaps.] [1913 Webster] 1. To… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • balk´er — balk «bk», verb, noun. –v.i. 1. to stop short and stubbornly refuse to go on: »My horse balked at the fence. SYNONYM(S): jib, shy. 2. to hesitate or stop (at); avoid; not do: »He balks at every disturbance and never finishes his work …   Useful english dictionary

  • Balk — (b[add]k), n. [AS. balca beam, ridge; akin to Icel. b[=a]lkr partition, bj[=a]lki beam, OS. balko, G. balken; cf. Gael. balc ridge of earth between two furrows. Cf. {Balcony}, {Balk}, v. t., 3d {Bulk}.] 1. A ridge of land left unplowed between… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • balk — also baulk BrE [bo:k, bo:lk US bo:k, bo:lk] v [Date: 1400 1500; Origin: balk raised area that gets in the way of forward movement (15 21 centuries), from Old English balca pile of things on the ground ] 1.) to not want to do or try something,… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • balk|y — «B kee», adjective, balk|i|er, balk|i|est. stopping short and stubbornly refusing to go on; likely to balk »Mules are balky animals. SYNONYM(S): refractory, contrary. – …   Useful english dictionary

  • Balk — Balk, v. i. 1. To engage in contradiction; to be in opposition. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] In strifeful terms with him to balk. Spenser. [1913 Webster] 2. To stop abruptly and stand still obstinately; to jib; to stop short; to swerve; as, the horse… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • balk — balk·i·ly; balk·i·ness; balk·ing·ly; balk; …   English syllables

  • balk — [bôk] n. [ME balke < OE balca, a bank, ridge < IE * bhelg (extended stem of * bhel , a beam) > Ger balken, beam, Gr phalanx, L fulcrum] 1. a ridge of unplowed land between furrows 2. a roughly hewn piece of timber 3. a beam used in… …   English World dictionary

  • Balk — Balk, v. i. [Prob. from D. balken to bray, bawl.] To indicate to fishermen, by shouts or signals from shore, the direction taken by the shoals of herring. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • balk — [v1] stop short cramp, crimp, demur, desist, dodge, evade, flinch, hesitate, recoil, refuse, resist, shirk, shrink from, shy, turn down, upset apple cart*; concepts 119,121,188 balk [v2] thwart baffle, bar, beat, check, circumvent, counteract,… …   New thesaurus