|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'|
balk also baulk British English
to not want to do or try something, because it seems difficult, unpleasant, or frightening
Many people would balk at setting up a new business during a recession.
Westerners balk at the prospect of snake on the menu.
if a horse balks at a fence, it stops in front of it and refuses to jump over it
3 [intransitive] American EnglishDSB
in baseball, to stop in the middle of the action of throwing the ball to the player who is trying to hit it
4 [transitive] formal
to stop someone or something from getting or achieving what they want