• (archaeology) the wall of earth at the edge of an excavation
  • A sudden and obstinate stop; a failure.
  • (badminton) motion used to deceive an opponent during a serve
  • An uncultivated ridge formed in the open field system, caused by the action of ploughing.
  • A hindrance or disappointment; a check.
  • (baseball) an illegal motion by the pitcher, intended to deceive a runner
  • beam, crossbeam
  • (sports) deceptive motion; feint


  • To stop, check, block.
  • To disappoint; to frustrate; to foil; to baffle; to thwart.

    "to balk expectation"

  • To leave heaped up; to heap up in piles.
  • (obsolete) To miss intentionally; to avoid; to shun; to refuse; to let go by; to shirk.
  • To refuse suddenly.
  • To leave or make balks in.
  • To omit, miss, or overlook by chance.
  • To stop short and refuse to go on.

    "The horse balked."

  • To engage in contradiction; to be in opposition.
  • To indicate to fishermen, by shouts or signals from shore, the direction taken by the shoals of herring.
  • (archaic) To pass over or by.

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