Definitions for: Balk


[n] an illegal pitching motion while runners are on base
[n] one of several parallel sloping beams that support a roof
[n] something immaterial that interferes with or delays action or progress
[n] the area on a billiard table behind the balkline; "a player with ball in hand must play from the balk"
[v] refuse to comply



Webster (1913) Definition: Balk, n. [AS. balca beam, ridge; akin to Icel. b[=a]lkr
partition, bj[=a]lki beam, OS. balko, G. balken; cf. Gael.
balc ridge of earth between two furrows. Cf. Balcony,
Balk, v. i., 3d Bulk.]
1. A ridge of land left unplowed between furrows, or at the
end of a field; a piece missed by the plow slipping aside.

Bad plowmen made balks of such ground. --Fuller.

2. A great beam, rafter, or timber; esp., the tie-beam of a
house. The loft above was called ``the balks.''

Tubs hanging in the balks. --Chaucer.

3. (Mil.) One of the beams connecting the successive supports
of a trestle bridge or bateau bridge.

4. A hindrance or disappointment; a check.

A balk to the confidence of the bold undertaker.
--South.

5. A sudden and obstinate stop; a failure.

6. (Baseball) A deceptive gesture of the pitcher, as if to
deliver the ball.

Balk line (Billiards), a line across a billiard table near
one end, marking a limit within which the cue balls are
placed in beginning a game; also, a line around the table,
parallel to the sides, used in playing a particular game,
called the balk line game.


Balk, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Balked (?); p. pr. & vb. n.
Balking.] [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.]
1. To leave or make balks in. [Obs.] --Gower.

2. To leave heaped up; to heap up in piles. [Obs.]

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. [Obs.]

4. To miss intentionally; to avoid; to shun; to refuse; to
let go by; to shirk. [Obs. or Obsolescent]

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.


Balk, v. i.
1. To engage in contradiction; to be in opposition. [Obs.]

In strifeful terms with him to balk. --Spenser.

2. To stop abruptly and stand still obstinately; to jib; to
stop short; to swerve; as, the horse balks.

Note: This has been regarded as an Americanism, but it occurs
in Spenser's ``Fa["e]rie Queene,'' Book IV., 10, xxv.

Ne ever ought but of their true loves talkt, Ne
ever for rebuke or blame of any balkt.


Balk, v. i. [Prob. from D. balken to bray, bawl.]
To indicate to fishermen, by shouts or signals from shore,
the direction taken by the shoals of herring.

Synonyms: baulk, baulk, baulk, baulk, check, deterrent, handicap, hindrance, impediment, jib, rafter, resist

See Also: albatross, area, beam, billiard table, bind, delivery, difficulty, disobey, expanse, millstone, obstacle, obstruction, pitch, pool table, snooker table, surface area

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