Dictionary > Balk


to indicate to fishermen, by shouts or signals from shore, the direction taken by the shoals of herring.
Origin: Prob. From D. Balken to bray, bawl.
1. To leave or make balks in.
2. To leave heaped up; to heap up in piles. Ten thousand bold Scots, two and twenty knights, Balk’d in their own blood did Sir Walter see. (Shak)
3. To omit, miss, or overlook by chance.
4. To miss intentionally; to avoid; to shun; to refuse; to let go by; to shirk. By reason of the contagion then in london, we balked the nns. (Evelyn) Sick he is, and keeps his bed, and balks his meat. (bp. Hall) Nor doth he any creature balk, but lays on all he meeteth. (Drayton)
5. To disappoint; to frustrate; to foil; to baffle; to hwart; as, to balk expectation. They shall not balk my entrance. (Byron)
Origin: From balk a beam; orig. To put a balk or beam in one’s way, in order to stop or hinder. Cf, for sense 2, as. On balcan legan to lay in heaps.