Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

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'

balk

verb
     
Related topics: Baseball
balk also baulk British English
1 [intransitive] to not want to do or try something, because it seems difficult, unpleasant, or frightening
balk at
Many people would balk at setting up a new business during a recession.
Westerners balk at the prospect of snake on the menu.
2 [intransitive] 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

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary