• The stem or main axis of a plant, which supports the seed-carrying parts.
  • The petiole, pedicel, or peduncle of a plant.
  • Something resembling the stalk of a plant, such as the stem of a quill.
  • An ornament in the Corinthian capital resembling the stalk of a plant, from which the volutes and helices spring.
  • One of the two upright pieces of a ladder.
  • An iron bar with projections inserted in a core to strengthen it; a core arbor.
  • A particular episode of trying to follow or contact someone.
  • The hunting of a wild animal by stealthy approach.
  • A haughty style of walking.


  • To approach slowly and quietly in order not to be discovered when getting closer.
  • To (try to) follow or contact someone constantly, often resulting in harassment.Wp
  • To walk slowly and cautiously; to walk in a stealthy, noiseless manner.
  • To walk behind something, such as a screen, for the purpose of approaching game; to proceed under cover.
  • To walk haughtily.


  • From Middle English stalke, stelke, stalk, perhaps from Old English *stealc, *stielc, *stealuc, from Proto-West Germanic *staluk, *stalik, from Proto-Germanic *stalukaz, *stalikaz, diminutive of Proto-Germanic *stalô, *staluz, from Proto-Indo-European *stel-. Cognate with Old High German *stelh in wazzarstelh, Danish stilk, Swedish stjälk, Icelandic stilkur.
  • Related also to Middle English stale, Old English stalu, Middle Low German stal, stale, Old English stela, steel, Stiel, Albanian shtalkë, Welsh telm, Ancient Greek στέλος, Old Armenian ստեղն.
  • From Middle English stalken, from Old English *stealcian (as in bestealcian, stealcung), from Proto-Germanic *stalkōną (compare Dutch stelkeren, Danish stalke, Norwegian dialectal stalka), from *stalkaz, *stelkaz (compare stealc, stelkr, stjalkr), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)telg, *(s)tolg- (compare tolg, stalgùs).
  • Alternate etymology connects *stalkōną to a frequentative form of *stelaną.
  • Attested 1530 in the sense "to walk haughtily", perhaps from Old English stealc, from Proto-Germanic *stelkaz, *stalkaz; see above.

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