• WordNet 3.6
    • n stalking-horse a horse behind which a hunter hides while stalking game
    • n stalking-horse screen consisting of a figure of a horse behind which a hunter hides while stalking game
    • n stalking-horse something serving to conceal plans; a fictitious reason that is concocted in order to conceal the real reason
    • n stalking-horse a candidate put forward to divide the Opposition or to mask the true candidate
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Stalking-horse A horse, or a figure resembling a horse, behind which a hunter conceals himself from the game he is aiming to kill.
    • Stalking-horse Something used to cover up a secret project; a mask; a pretense. "Hypocrisy is the devil's stalking-horse under an affectation of simplicity and religion.""How much more abominable is it to make of him [Christ] and religion a stalking-horse , to get and enjoy the world!"
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n stalking-horse A horse, or a horse-like figure, behind which a fowler conceals himself on approaching game.
    • n stalking-horse Hence Anything put forward to conceal a more important object; a mask; a pretense.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Stalking-horse a horse behind which a sportsman hides while stalking game: a mask or pretence
    • ***


  • William Shakespeare
    “He uses his folly like a stalking-horse, and under the presentation of that he shoots his wit.”


Stalking horse - A stalking horse is a strategy or something used to conceal your intentions. It is often used where someone put themselves forwards as a candidate to divide opponents or to hide the real candidate.


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. stælcan, to walk cautiously, stealc, high; Dan. stalke, to walk with long steps.


In literature:

So soundless was the approach that Susan heard nothing till a lupine stalk snapped under the horse's hoof.
"The Emigrant Trail" by Geraldine Bonner
This is a great mistake, for the stalks are worth a good deal for feeding horses, cattle, and sheep.
"Agriculture for Beginners" by Charles William Burkett
I took no horse, for I thought I saw springboks out on the plain; and I would stalk them better afoot.
"The Bush Boys" by Captain Mayne Reid
It stalked leisurely on towards their horses, not noticing them.
"The Gilpins and their Fortunes" by William H. G. Kingston
Father is only making a stalking horse out of you.
"Theft" by Jack London
It seemed to him that he had been selected to be a stalking-horse for them in their intercourse.
"Kept in the Dark" by Anthony Trollope
We rode corn stalks, bent down small pine trees and rode' em for horses.
"Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States" by Various
I took no horse, for I thought I saw springboks out on the plain; and I would stalk them better afoot.
"Popular Adventure Tales" by Mayne Reid
Ye both unwittingly played stalking-horse whilst another man got the treasure.
"Sea-Dogs All!" by Tom Bevan
I have heard of stalking horses indeed, and that of Troy made many ghosts.
"The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor" by Various
The first time that I saw him, I fancy Robert was pretty old already: he had certainly begun to use his years as a stalking-horse.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume 9" by Robert Louis Stevenson
It served as a stalking horse.
"The New Warden" by Mrs. David G. Ritchie
He had eaten even the stray stalks of stunted corn that grew up where horses, used in the road building, had been fed.
"The Auto Boys' Mystery" by James A. Braden
Kitty was still the stalking-horse behind which, for whatever reasons, he machinated.
"The Story of Louie" by Oliver Onions
You call Reform their stalking-horse?
"Chippinge Borough" by Stanley J. Weyman
The fact is, Woosenham, you are letting others use you for a stalking horse.
"Ovington's Bank" by Stanley J. Weyman
But I will not be the stalking-horse.
"The Red Cockade" by Stanley J. Weyman
Both the others laughed heartily when they heard how shrewd old Uncle Fred made a stalking horse out of their stout chum.
"The Broncho Rider Boys on the Wyoming Trail" by Frank Fowler
Elk must be hunted by stalking, as he speedily distances any horse.
"Buffalo Land" by W. E. Webb
The bringing forward of the game question has been merely the trotting out of a stalking horse.
"The Celtic Magazine, Vol I, No. IV, February 1876" by Various

In poetry:

Only a man harrowing clods
In a slow silent walk
With an old horse that stumbles and nods
Half asleep as they stalk.
"In Time Of 'The Breaking Of Nations'" by Thomas Hardy
Down Pennsylvania Avenue to-day the riders go,
men and boys riding horses, roses in their teeth,
stems of roses, rose leaf stalks, rose dark leaves--
the line of the green ends in a red rose flash.
"And So To-Day" by Carl Sandburg

In news:

Has signed a "stalking horse" purchase agreement with an affiliate of funds managed by Alden Global Capital LLC.
Chinese 'stalking horse' at Beech.
The Pros and Cons of Being A Stalking Horse Bidder for Assets In Bankruptcy.
Dallas-based Alon USA Energy Inc has been selected as the stalking horse bidder for the Bakersfield, Calif, refinery from Big West of California LLC, a subsidiary of Flying J Inc.
Kwik Pik LLC, an affiliate of Lehigh Gas Corp. Has been selected as the stalking horse bidder in the Uni-Marts bankruptcy asset sale.
Health Care's Stalking-Horse : The 'Public Option'.
According to bankruptcy court documents, a group of lenders is planning a "stalking horse" bid for the company.
A New York bankruptcy court judge picked Berkshire's $1.442 billion bid on Tuesday as the lead bidder, or stalking horse, for ResCap's loan portfolio.
Milwaukee-based JCI retains its stalking-horse bid of $125 million for A123's bankrupt automotive assets.
Tully's Coffee Shops Receive 'Stalking Horse' Initial Bid On Assets.
TC Global, Inc (dba Tully's) announced that it has entered into a "stalking horse" Asset Purchase Agreement (APA) with Kachi Partners (Kachi), an entrepreneurial finance group.
Chinese ' stalking horse' at Beech.
No Stalking Horse In NY-6.
Casino idea a stalking -horse.