Definition of "balk" []

  • To stop short and refuse to go on: The horse balked at the jump. (verb-intransitive)
  • To refuse obstinately or abruptly: She balked at the very idea of compromise. (verb-intransitive)
  • Sports To make an incomplete or misleading motion. (verb-intransitive)
  • Baseball To make an illegal motion before pitching, allowing one or more base runners to advance one base. (verb-intransitive)
  • To check or thwart by or as if by an obstacle. (verb-transitive)
  • To stop short, esp suddenly or unexpectedly; jib (verb)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • To turn away abruptly; recoil (verb)
  • To thwart, check, disappoint, or foil (verb)
  • To avoid deliberately (verb)
  • To miss unintentionally (verb)
  • A roughly squared heavy timber beam (noun)
  • A timber tie beam of a roof (noun)
  • An unploughed ridge to prevent soil erosion or mark a division on common land (noun)
  • An obstacle; hindrance; disappointment (noun)
  • An illegal motion by a pitcher towards the plate or towards the base when there are runners on base, esp without delivering the ball (noun) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "balk" in a sentence
  • "Beckett got upset with West in the fifth inning after he called a balk on an attempted pickoff toss to first base."
  • ""I thought time was called (by the umpire), but it was obviously a pleasant surprise to see them call a balk," said Johnson."
  • ""I'd like to find out what he called a balk on me."