Main definitions of stalk in English

: stalk1stalk2

stalk1

noun

  • 1The main stem of a herbaceous plant.

    ‘he chewed a stalk of grass’
    • ‘Feeding also may continue after emergence as wireworms tunnel into the lower stalk of corn plants.’
    • ‘These inconspicuous larvae cling to the stalk of the plant and can easily go unnoticed.’
    • ‘As seeds ripened during the course of the experiment, the inflorescences were harvested by clipping the main stalk of each flowering culm just below the lowermost panicle branch.’
    • ‘Stir in the borlotti beans and parsley stalks, then add the tomatoes, garlic and stock and bring to the boil.’
    • ‘Taking Maggie with her, the two made their way to Adam's home, only to find him kneeling in his vegetable bed, inspecting the base of one of his tomato plant stalks.’
    • ‘These fluid-sucking larvae stunted the growth of the plants and damaged the stalks.’
    • ‘Cavities form at the base of the stalk on severely diseased plants.’
    • ‘To prepare parsley for chopping, pull leaves from the main stalk.’
    • ‘To produce a new plant, each tuber must have an eye (the new growth bud) which appears at the point where the tuber connects to the main stalk.’
    • ‘Firmly plant the stalks into sand or vermiculite with most of the leaf blades exposed.’
    • ‘This gray lump, made from the ashes of stalks of certain plants, contains the alkaline substance that invariably accompanies coca-chewing.’
    • ‘Early plants had mainly green stalks, and it was those with a red tinge which were selected to produce the modern red varieties.’
    • ‘The seeds and stalks of this useful plant must be imported.’
    • ‘Best control can be obtained when the bugs are above ground on the plant stalks when temperatures are cool or after rain.’
    • ‘Purple loosestrife can grow to 3-9 feet tall with several, square stalks per plant.’
    • ‘The main stalk and side shoots are ready for harvest once the flower buds start to form.’
    • ‘Linen is from flax, a bast fiber taken from the stalk of the plant.’
    • ‘Then she plants the stalk in warm, moist soil, where it grows into a full plant.’
    • ‘Ally chewed a grass stalk and listened to the bumblebees.’
    • ‘A few weeks later the stalks were head high, and there, where the branches met the main stalk, were little pools of water; perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes.’
    stem, shoot, trunk, stock, cane, bine, bent, haulm, straw, reed
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The slender attachment or support of a leaf, flower, or fruit.
      ‘the acorns grow on stalks’
      • ‘According to legend the shamrock, with its three leaves on the single stalk, was used by St. Patrick to explain the mystery of the Christian Trinity to the pagan Irish.’
      • ‘In order to get a good grip on the shoot, the leaves were bent upwards and the leaf stalks gripped.’
      • ‘Long, leggy flower stalks indicate insufficient light.’
      • ‘Emphasis should be on good soil drainage because free water on the surface may cause decay at the crown or at the bases of the leaf stalks.’
      • ‘A couple of weeks before the dramatic colours of autumn begin to appear, a layer of cells starts to grow where the leaf stalk joins the branch.’
      • ‘After flowering, the stalks curl into a coil, drawing the seed capsule down on top of the tuber.’
      • ‘Cut off dead stalks and leaves from perennials, then top-dress the beds with 2 to 3 inches of compost and a sprinkling of fertilizer.’
      • ‘So if you've still got some of the sunny flowers nodding on their stalks in your garden, borrow some of their petals.’
      • ‘Its heart-shaped leaves float on the water surface and five-petaled white flowers rise on little stalks above the leaves.’
      • ‘These buds are themselves developing beside the leaf stalk on the shoots as they grow in spring.’
      • ‘Exacerbated by warm, humid weather, red blotch infects leaves, flower stalks, blooms and bulb scales.’
      • ‘In early summer, foot-long flower stalks poke above the mounds of leaves.’
      • ‘After blooms fade, cut flower stalks close to the ground, leaving healthy green leaves in place to nourish next year's growth.’
      • ‘The number of florets on the flower stalk depends on the size of the bulb.’
      • ‘Dig and gather a few rhizomes; remove the leaf stalks and the fibrous roots.’
      • ‘The spinach should have thick leaves with the biggest stalks removed - tedious, I know, but worth it.’
      • ‘Fruit stalks grow on the canes, not on branches.’
      • ‘They attack young leaves, flower stalks and buds.’
      • ‘When the winter has been mild like this year, the flower stalk will elongate in early March.’
      • ‘It looks somewhat like a firework the way the slim branches shoot up and out, topped by the yellow flowers on umbrella-like stalks which carry the delicious name of umbels.’
      stem, shoot, trunk, stock, cane, bine, bent, haulm, straw, reed
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A stalklike support for a sessile animal, or for an organ in an animal.
      • ‘From these same lobsters, we had initially removed the eyestalks and then quickly dissected the sinus glands from both eye - stalks.’
      • ‘Eyestalk length was divided into short to medium stalks or long stalks.’
      • ‘This fossil has been reconstructed with a hypothetical stalk anchored in the substrate, as if supporting a frondose body in a reclined position.’
      • ‘A fiddler crab's eyes are mounted on stalks that point straight up, and they command a panoramic, 360-degree view.’
      • ‘Disarticulation is highly variable among echinoderms; stalks are most commonly observed as disarticulated columnals or segments.’
      • ‘The dura also forms a diaphragm above the pituitary gland, through which passes the pituitary stalk, joining the gland to the hypothalamus.’
      • ‘Some deep-sea crinoids have a third body portion, the stalk.’
      • ‘Pedunculate barnacles, with fleshy stalks, suffer from reduced preservational potential.’
      • ‘Finally, the retina and retinal pigment epithelium differentiate from the optic cup, and the optic nerve develops from the optic stalk.’
      • ‘Closer examination revealed a pair of compound eyes mounted on movable stalks, protruding from a burrow and rotating independently, like the periscopes of a submarine.’
      • ‘Because R. kirbyi also possesses the longest stalk in the fauna, it is likely that the crown of adult specimens was elevated above those of all other crinoids.’
      • ‘Sclerites are mounted on short stalks of the integument, connected to the undersurface of the central disc, and are external to the body surface.’
      • ‘Later eocrinoids evolved a long stalk with columnals, like crinoids and blastoids.’
      • ‘To avoid being knocked off and carried out to open water, the anemone secrets a very strong adhesive substance at the foot of its stalk that allows it to stay put in the most turbulent situations.’
      • ‘The tip of the optic stalk is a considerable distance from the surface ectoderm.’
      • ‘Without warning the stalks supporting the crab's beady black eyes shoot straight up at me.’
      • ‘However, C. sanwuia, with both a calyx and a stalk, differs from phoronids in mode of life and body architecture.’
      • ‘Their eyes are situated on the top of the head, sometimes on stalks, and their nostrils are tubular.’
      • ‘The hypoblast gives rise to extra-embryonic structures such as the stalk of the yolk sac, whereas the embryo proper is formed from the remaining blastoderm cells, known as the epiblast.’
      • ‘This ambulatory session is done by a preliminary biopsy of the gland stalk and with minimum invasive laparoscopic instrumentation.’
    3. 1.3 A slender support or stem of an object.
      ‘drinking glasses with long stalks’
      • ‘You cannot assume airs and graces when you are stuck behind a stripped pine desk, with a wee stalk of a microphone in front of you and the media hanging over the banisters waiting to detect the first signs of pomposity and expose it to ridicule.’
      • ‘First, we deal with the case of elastic legs that are connected to the stalk through a free joint.’
      • ‘This mobile object seemed to have a fragile stalk.’
    4. 1.4 (in a vehicle) a lever on the steering column controlling the indicators, lights, etc.
      ‘the control stalk on the car's fascia’
      • ‘My only grumble was with the soft-touch indicator stalk.’
      • ‘The cruise controls mounted on the indicator stalk are hidden by the steering wheel.’
      • ‘All the major controls are to hand, although the fiddly wiper stalk on the left and the indicators on the right caused me to make turns with the wipers going full blast on more than one occasion.’
      • ‘The first time I indicated, I nearly put the car on cruise control, which is what the visible stalk to the left of the wheel actually does.’
      • ‘Note that the indicator and wiper stalks have a new action that takes time to get used to.’
      • ‘So from the driver's seat, and looking straight ahead, there are no instruments other than those attached to the steering wheel, such as indicator and lighting stalks.’
      • ‘The other controls are familiar to all BMW users, but it was a little too easy to catch the stalk for cruise control when trying to operate the turn indicators.’
      • ‘Both indicator and wiper stalks return to the centre point after each prod, making it harder to divine instantly what they have just done or where they are set.’
      • ‘These are irritations, but the fact that the lights and wiper stalks have not been swapped to suit European drivers is a real nuisance.’
      • ‘For the driver, the instruments are easy to read and use, although the door mirror control is hidden by a steering wheel stalk, and a bit of fumbling is needed to use it.’
      • ‘Sadly the cars come with plastic indicator stalks as standard but once these had been replaced with the stainless steel variety the interior is perfect.’
      • ‘The only really hidden item was the stalk with the cruise control, but since I personally dislike cruise control, this was no great loss from my point of view.’
      • ‘Old British cars used to have an indicator stalk similarly disposed, and it feels entirely natural in such machines.’
      • ‘The stalks controlling lights and windscreen wipers are to European standards, with lights to the left and wipers to the right.’
      • ‘There are steering column stalks to control the audio and cruise control and expect to find plenty of cubby holes and storage bins.’
      • ‘However, one problem encountered during the test drives was the closeness of the indicator stalk with that controlling the cruise control system.’
      • ‘The stalk control used to operate the radio also seems less effective then Renault's version.’
      • ‘As usual with Saab, the design of the instruments and controls is almost perfect although the cruise control stalk is partly hidden from view.’
      • ‘In fact, the car feels solid from tip to toe, from the thick doors to the low-slung seats and including the nicely cushioned stalks on the steering column.’
      • ‘The only annoyance is that the wiper and light control stalks remain on the Japanese sides of the steering wheel.’

Origin

Middle English: probably a diminutive of dialect stale ‘rung of a ladder, long handle’.

Pronunciation

stalk

/stɔːk/

Main definitions of stalk in English

: stalk1stalk2

stalk2

verb

  • 1with object Pursue or approach stealthily.

    ‘a cat stalking a bird’
    • ‘Finding the evolutionary origin of hominids is a little like stalking big game.’
    • ‘Most of the estates include salmon and trout fishing rights, grouse moors and deer stalking grounds as well as rambling lodges and outbuildings.’
    • ‘Besides, there is so much to do that such luxuries as spending hours and hours stalking cats in pursuit of the perfect shot are simply not possible.’
    • ‘A few large panels portray ancient hunts, with a figure stalking herds of deer.’
    • ‘The elusive, spotted-coat cats secretly stalk their prey until just the right moment.’
    • ‘They envision hunters coming here to stalk elk, loggers to fell selected trees.’
    • ‘White Fang does not make an uproar, but rather follows quietly, stalking the stranger.’
    • ‘In addition to breeding calves and colts, Glenn earns a living taking clients out for guided hunts and stalking the occasional problem cat for local ranchers.’
    • ‘This time, however, the birds were starting to stir and make noise, and a neighbourhood cat was stalking one in the grass that was already making a grab for a worm or two.’
    • ‘Their spears were held at the ready, and they took short, cautious steps, like hunters stalking big game.’
    • ‘They are legitimate game and can be hunted from stands or stalked on foot.’
    • ‘He seemed to follow her like an owl stalking its prey, waiting for the right moment to strike.’
    • ‘Torrine suddenly had the feeling of a deer being stalked by a hunter.’
    • ‘Not knowing what to expect, they circled around, like cats stalking invisible birds.’
    • ‘His boots padding against the floor were muffled because of the thick carpet, and he doubted he was making anymore noise than a cat stalking a mouse.’
    • ‘She stealthily approached like a leopard stalking an impala.’
    • ‘He felt a glow of admiration for Whitepaws; she was now stalking the beast at a safe distance as it approached him.’
    • ‘A cat scales a glass sharp wall and drops beside its shadow under an apple tree, stalking anxious sparrows with the first sun.’
    • ‘For the first time my dreams changed, I was stalking an antelope in the dry grass, approaching nearer and nearer until I killed it with my sword.’
    • ‘The man approached her like a cheetah stalking its prey.’
    creep up on, trail, follow, shadow, track down, go after, be after, dog, hound, course, hunt, pursue, chase, give chase to, run after
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Harass or persecute (someone) with unwanted and obsessive attention.
      ‘for five years she was stalked by a man who would taunt and threaten her’
      • ‘I chose someone who doesn't know me very well to tell her about me, and she made up a complete story about our meeting in a hot-air balloon and how I stalk people on Franklin Rd.’
      • ‘Hurt and deeply jealous, she stalked him for 18 months causing misery and harassment to the pair.’
      • ‘He began associating with gangs, using drugs and verbally harassing and stalking young women.’
      • ‘Why haven't they been, you know, stalking the neighbors, basically, to get information?’
      • ‘A number of obsessed fans have stalked her in the UK and made threats against her.’
      • ‘Joe tries to shake him off, but Jed stalks him relentlessly, becoming ever more insistent.’
      • ‘A jilted lover who had been stalking his former girlfriend after she ended their relationship murdered her before turning the gun on himself.’
      • ‘Although the case was settled out of court, her father became obsessive, stalking her and paying a private detective to follow her.’
      • ‘And he called for anyone who believes they may have been stalked or followed in the Sharrow area, which is popular among students, to get in touch.’
      • ‘He's become obsessed to the point of stalking me.’
      • ‘People stalk celebrities - and this is just my opinion.’
      • ‘One resident of the town claims to have seen him in these parts before, stalking people - but him swears he's never been there before.’
      • ‘He becomes obsessive over his young student, stalking her and falsifying results.’
      • ‘People are terrified of molesters, school shootings, and people stalking women and children.’
      • ‘Trinity was hoping that Missy wasn't obsessed with Dustin and stalked him all the time.’
      • ‘Oh, and then there was that feeling of being followed, and watched, just stalked every place I went.’
      • ‘In Glasgow, appearing twice nightly with Stanley Baxter, she became the target of an obsessed fan who stalked her, writing endless letters.’
      • ‘An obsessed psychologist stalked her ex-lover and his new girlfriend before a Hallowe'en night confrontation ended in murder, a court has been told.’
      • ‘In the meantime I caution you that any further attempts at stalking my client via the interweb will result in the appropriate authorities being notified.’
      • ‘Instead of presenting the audience with an intriguing mystery of who is stalking this family and why, it becomes a boring repetition of what psychotic thing this man is going to do next.’
    2. 1.2literary Move silently or threateningly through (a place)
      ‘the tiger stalks the jungle’
      figurative ‘fear stalked the camp’
      • ‘According to legend, Conan Doyle was intrigued by the tale of a mythical black hound that stalked the moors at night.’
      • ‘A mysterious creature described as a cross between a kangaroo, a leopard, a monkey and a cat is stalking Salisbury.’
      • ‘The house was higgledy piggledy - in fact they even had a pot-bellied pig - and an unsettlingly large turkey stalked the place.’
      • ‘While police attempt to calm fears that a serial attacker is stalking the borough, many residents remain concerned about their safety.’
      • ‘But, as former judge Lord Scarman said a quarter of a century ago, it is when fear is stalking the land that bills of rights are needed most.’
      • ‘Over the next few days, the tiger stalked the area, leaving footprints in the surrounds.’
      • ‘A third of the population is illiterate, and 600,000 people are stalked by malnutrition.’
      • ‘Despite the conditions, they're as alert as ever, for stalking these hills are Patagonia pumas, cats that can pull down guanacos twice their weight.’
      • ‘Outside, coots and herons stalk the downtown canals.’
      • ‘October is an excellent month to stalk the shorelines of small lakes and ponds for aggressive bass.’
      • ‘I watched the slate-feathered bird stalking a shallow eddy for maybe fifteen minutes before she flew upstream.’
      • ‘Before dropping off underneath a wispy mosquito net, my last thought is: who knows what creatures stalk this place?’
      • ‘Country life is seriously threatened… deprivation is now stalking the countryside…’
      • ‘But then someone's got to care in a world where Dr Death makes housecalls and fear stalks the land.’
      • ‘We have just passed through the witching hour that is Hallowe'en, relic of a medieval past when ghosts and spirits were thought to stalk the land on All Hallow's Eve.’
      • ‘When talking to many poor peasant informers, she noticed that ‘hunger and want were stalking the land’.’
      • ‘Perhaps Euclid's ghost is stalking the English countryside by night, leaving its distinctive mark wherever it happens to alight.’
      • ‘My naivete was shaken some years ago, much before the fear and insecurity that stalks our streets today.’
      • ‘They stalk the darkness between the trees, hunting for the living.’
      • ‘The mystery of whether big cats are stalking Pembrokeshire is no closer to being solved, after laboratory analysis of faeces failed to prove their existence.’
  • 2no object, with adverbial of direction Stride somewhere in a proud, stiff, or angry manner.

    ‘without another word she turned and stalked out’
    • ‘He stalked towards her, his strides suddenly a bit too fast and too long to be considered sober.’
    • ‘Instantly sorry at what I had done, I stalked off, now angry with myself.’
    • ‘She stomped her foot and stalked off in the same manner.’
    • ‘At that moment my father stalked impatiently through the door, muttering.’
    • ‘Sending them one final glare to properly drive home her point, Alicia spun on her heel and stalked off, still fuming and close to tears.’
    • ‘Luca growled, still impatiently stalking up and down the hall.’
    • ‘Prince Asgard stalked to Baron's chambers, angry and impatient.’
    • ‘Angry, she stalked to the couple until she was directly behind Andrew.’
    • ‘Arzenes didn't say a word, but angrily picked up the remnants of the machine and stalked off, fuming.’
    • ‘One of them gives this part angry, part horrified squeak, and then they stalk off as well as they can in the knee-deep snow.’
    • ‘He turned on his heel and stalked away, leaving the two angry women to follow.’
    • ‘She turned and stalked back toward the door, feeling immensely proud of herself for having the willpower to walk away.’
    • ‘When the door suddenly opened, the Laird MacCallum looked awfully angry as he stalked quickly out down the hall.’
    • ‘She stalks to the chair and sits down, back ramrod stiff.’
    • ‘Marshall stalked impatiently up to her and got to about three inches from her face.’
    • ‘Donnan stalked in like an angry feline and told her that Tranthor had been waiting outside his rooms to see Valaria.’
    • ‘Kail spun around and stalked toward the doors of the ballroom, angry and hurting.’
    • ‘Newly angry over the death of my beloved hamster, I stalk over to the stairs, with Zillah still in my arms.’
    • ‘Before he could recover, I swept past him and stalked up the steps into the lecture hall.’
    • ‘And with that Darcy waved and stalked off, clearly trying to keep her stride even and calm.’
    strut, stride, march, flounce, storm, stomp, sweep, swagger, prance
    View synonyms

noun

  • 1A stealthy pursuit of someone or something.

    ‘this time the stalk would be on foot’
    • ‘This technique, called "glassing" allows the hunter to spot the game from some distance away, then plan out a ambush or stalk.’
    • ‘We parked the truck and started a stalk of the goats up shale and alpine forbs slopes.’
  • 2A stiff, striding gait.

    • ‘He usually sauntered everywhere; now his stride could only be described as a stalk.’
    • ‘Em's stride was just a few shades below a stalk, so the dribble of people still leaving the school gave way to the irritated girl.’
    • ‘Use full camouflage (including hands and face) to break the ‘human’ outline on stand or during a stalk.’
    • ‘Mona let out this little noise of irritation and followed, her walk more of a stalk than a stride.’

Origin

Late Old English -stealcian (in bistealcian ‘walk cautiously or stealthily’), of Germanic origin; related to steal.

Pronunciation

stalk

/stɔːk/