See also: Balk

English

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Etymology 1

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From Middle English balke, from Old English balca, either from or influenced by Old Norse bálkr (partition, ridge of land),[1] from Proto-Germanic *balkô. Cognate with Dutch balk (balk), German Balken (balk), Italian balcone (balcony).

Alternative forms

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Pronunciation

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Noun

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balk (plural balks)

  1. (agriculture) An uncultivated ridge formed in the open field system, caused by the action of ploughing.
    • 1647, Tho[mas] Fuller, “Scripture Observations”, in Good Thoughts in Worse Times. [], London: [] W. W. for John Williams [], →OCLC, section XVI (Text improved), page 89:
      How fruitfull are the ſeeming Barren places of Scripture. Bad Plow-men, which make Balkes of ſuch Ground.
  2. (archaeology) The wall of earth at the edge of an excavation.
  3. Beam, crossbeam; squared timber; a tie beam of a house, stretching from wall to wall, especially when laid so as to form a loft, "the balks".
  4. A hindrance or disappointment; a check.
    • 1692–1717, Robert South, Twelve Sermons Preached upon Several Occasions, volumes (please specify |volume=I to VI), London:
      , "Concealment of Sin"
      a balk to the confidence of the bold undertaker
  5. A sudden and obstinate stop.
    Synonym: failure
  6. (obsolete) An omission.
  7. (sports) A deceptive motion.
    Synonym: feint
    1. (baseball) An illegal motion by the pitcher, intended to deceive a runner.
    2. (badminton) A motion used to deceive the opponent during a serve.
  8. (billiards) The area of the table lying behind the line from which the cue ball is initially shot, and from which a ball in hand must be played.
  9. (snooker) The area of the table lying behind the baulk line.
  10. (fishing) The rope by which fishing nets are fastened together.
Derived terms
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Translations
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Verb

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balk (third-person singular simple present balks, present participle balking, simple past and past participle balked)

  1. (archaic) To pass over or by.
  2. To omit, miss, or overlook by chance.
    Synonyms: miss, overlook
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  3. (obsolete) To miss intentionally; to avoid.
    Synonyms: avoid, shun, refuse, shirk
  4. To stop, check, block; to hinder, impede.
    • 1932, Aldous Huxley, Brave New World[1], London: Chatto & Windus:
      Balked for the second time, the passion of his grief had found another outlet, was transformed into a passion of agonized rage.
  5. To stop short and refuse to go on.
    The horse balked.
  6. To refuse suddenly.
  7. To disappoint; to frustrate.
    Synonyms: frustrate, foil, baffle, thwart
    to balk expectation
    • 1821, Lord Byron, “The Two Foscari, an Historical Tragedy”, in Sardanapalus, a Tragedy; The Two Foscari, a Tragedy; Cain, a Mystery, London: John Murray, [], →OCLC, Act I, scene i, page 195:
      Well, / I know that none who enter there return / As they have enter'd—many never; but / They shall not balk my entrance.
  8. To engage in contradiction; to be in opposition.
  9. To leave or make balks in.
  10. To leave heaped up; to heap up in piles.
  11. (sports, intransitive) To make a deceptive motion to deceive another player.
    • 2013, Aaron Wisewell, The Baseball Coach:
      The best advice you can receive regarding balking is to always maintain poise and composure on the mound.
Derived terms
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Translations
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Etymology 2

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Probably from Dutch balken (to bray, bawl).

Verb

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balk (third-person singular simple present balks, present participle balking, simple past and past participle balked)

  1. To indicate to fishermen, by shouts or signals from shore, the direction taken by the shoals of herring.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for balk”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.)

References

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  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2024) “balk”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.

Anagrams

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Dutch

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Pronunciation

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Etymology 1

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From Middle Dutch balke, from Old Dutch *balco, from Proto-West Germanic *balkō, from Proto-Germanic *balkô.

Noun

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balk m (plural balken, diminutive balkje n)

  1. A beam, solid support.
  2. (mathematics) A cuboid.
  3. A section, icon et cetera in such rectangular shape.
Derived terms
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- beam-shaped

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Descendants
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  • Afrikaans: balk
  • Negerhollands: balk
  • Caribbean Javanese: baleg, balok
  • Javanese: ꦧꦭꦺꦴꦏ꧀ (balok)
  • Malay: balak
    • > Indonesian: balak (inherited)
  • Papiamentu: balki (from the diminutive)
  • Saramaccan: báíki
  • Sranan Tongo: barki, balk
    • Caribbean Hindustani: barki

Etymology 2

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See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.

Verb

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balk

  1. inflection of balken:
    1. first-person singular present indicative
    2. imperative

Old Polish

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Pronunciation

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  • IPA(key): (10th–15th CE) /baːlʲk/
  • IPA(key): (15th CE) /bɒlʲk/

Noun

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balk m animacy unattested

  1. Alternative form of balka

Swedish

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Etymology

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From Old Swedish balker, from Old Norse bialki, bǫlkr, from Proto-Germanic *balkuz, from *balkô (beam, plank).

Noun

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balk c

  1. a wooden or metal beam
  2. (heraldry) a bend (diagonal band)
  3. (law) code (major section of legislation)
    brottsbalk
    criminal code
  4. (slang, vulgar) penis

Declension

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Declension of balk 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative balk balken balkar balkarna
Genitive balks balkens balkars balkarnas

Synonyms

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Derived terms

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Further reading

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