• WordNet 3.6
    • v balk refuse to comply
    • n balk an illegal pitching motion while runners are on base
    • n balk one of several parallel sloping beams that support a roof
    • n balk something immaterial that interferes with or delays action or progress
    • n balk the area on a billiard table behind the balkline "a player with ball in hand must play from the balk"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Balk (Baseball) A deceptive gesture of the pitcher, as if to deliver the ball. It is illegal and is penalized by allowing the runners on base to advance one base.
    • Balk 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 ."
    • Balk A hindrance or disappointment; a check. "A balk to the confidence of the bold undertaker."
    • Balk 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."
    • Balk A sudden and obstinate stop; a failure.
    • Balk (Mil) One of the beams connecting the successive supports of a trestle bridge or bateau bridge.
    • Balk (Baseball) to commit a balk{6}; -- of a pitcher.
    • Balk To disappoint; to frustrate; to foil; to baffle; to thwart; as, to balk expectation. "They shall not balk my entrance."
    • Balk To engage in contradiction; to be in opposition. "In strifeful terms with him to balk ."
    • v. i Balk To indicate to fishermen, by shouts or signals from shore, the direction taken by the shoals of herring.
    • Balk 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."
    • Balk To leave or make balks in.
    • Balk 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 inns.""Sick he is, and keeps his bed, and balks his meat.""Nor doth he any creature balk ,
      But lays on all he meeteth."
    • Balk To omit, miss, or overlook by chance.
    • Balk To stop abruptly and stand still obstinately; to jib; to stop short; to swerve; as, the horse balks . "Ne ever ought but of their true loves talkt,
      Ne ever for rebuke or blame of any balkt ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n balk A ridge; especially, a ridge left unplowed in the body of a field, or between fields; an uncultivated strip of land serving as a boundary, often between pieces of ground held by different tenants. The latter use originated in the open-field system (which see, under field). [Common in provincial English and Scotch.]
    • n balk A piece missed in plowing.
    • n balk An omission; an exception.
    • n balk A blunder; a failure or miscarriage: as, to make a balk; you have made a bad balk of it.
    • n balk In base-ball, a motion made by the pitcher as if to pitch the ball, but without actually doing so.
    • n balk A barrier in one's way; an obstacle or stumbling-block.
    • n balk A check or defeat; a disappointment.
    • n balk In coal-mining, a more or less sudden thinning out, for a certain distance, of a bed of coal; a nip or want.
    • n balk A beam or piece of timber of considerable length and thickness. Specifically— A cross-beam in the roof of a house which unites and supports the rafters; a tie-beam. In old-fashioned one-story houses of Scotland, Ireland, and the North of England these tie-beams were often exposed, and boards or peeled saplings called cabers were laid across them, forming a kind of loft often called the balks. From these exposed tie-beams or from the cabers articles were often suspended. [Prov. Eng. and Scotch.]
    • n balk Milit., one of the beams connecting the successive supports of a trestle-bridge or bateau-bridge.
    • n balk In carpentry, a squared timber, long or short; a large timber in a frame, floor, etc.; a square log.
    • n balk The beam of a balance.
    • n balk In billiards, the space between the cushion of the table and the balkline. A ball inside this space is said to be in balk.
    • n balk A long wooden or iron table on which paper is laid in the press-room of a printing-office.
    • n balk A set of stout stakes surrounded by netting or wickerwork for catching fish.
    • n balk The stout rope at the top of fishing-nets by which they are fastened one to another in a fleet.
    • balk To make a balk or ridge in plowing; make a ridge in by leaving a strip unplowed.
    • balk Hence To leave untouched generally; omit; pass over; neglect; shun.
    • balk To place a balk in the way of; hence, to hinder; thwart; frustrate; disappoint.
    • balk To miss by error or inadvertence.
    • balk To heap up so as to form a balk or ridge.
    • balk [Some editors read bak'd in this passage.] Synonyms Foil, Thwart, etc. See frustrate.
    • balk To stop short in one's course, as at a balk or obstacle: as, the horse balked; he balked in his speech. Spenser.
    • balk To quibble; bandy words.
    • balk To signify to fishing-boats the direction taken by the shoals of herrings or pilchards, as seen from heights overlooking the sea: done at first by bawling or shouting, subsequently by signals.
    • n balk In wool-manuf., a fullness and suppleness of texture.
    • n balk The failure of a jumper or vaulter to jump after taking his run. Three balks usually count as a trial-jump.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Balk bawk a ridge left unploughed, intentionally or through carelessness:
    • v.t Balk to ignore, pass over: refuse: avoid: let slip: to check, disappoint, or elude: to meet arguments with objections
    • v.i Balk to swerve, pull up:
    • n Balk bawk (obs.) an omission: squared timber: a tie-beam of a house, stretching from wall to wall, esp. when laid so as to form a loft, 'the balks:' (obs.) the beam of a balance: the rope by which fishing-nets are fastened together: a hindrance or disappointment
    • v.i Balk (Spens.) lie out of the way
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. balca, beam, ridge; akin to Icel. bālkr, partition, bjālki, beam, OS. balko, G. balken,; cf. Gael. balc, ridge of earth between two furrows. Cf. Balcony Balk (v. t.), 3d Bulk


In literature:

The man balked at nothing.
"When A Man's A Man" by Harold Bell Wright
An accident balked these exertions and the message appeared.
"The Inside Story Of The Peace Conference" by Emile Joseph Dillon
This man will balk us with his baffling prate.
"The Seven Plays in English Verse" by Sophocles
The applicant might have been balked temporarily in his ambition.
"Certain Success" by Norval A. Hawkins
Only fall to, and show no timid balking.
"Faust" by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
But the old man was not to be balked.
"The Foundations of Japan" by J.W. Robertson Scott
Thus, through talking too much, I balked my own plans.
"The Boy Allies with the Victorious Fleets" by Robert L. Drake
You try to balk me and you'll be sorry.
"Ruth Fielding on Cliff Island" by Alice Emerson
Pay less attention to the horse that balks, and give more oats to those that pull.
"Around The Tea-Table" by T. De Witt Talmage
Was he to be balked that way!
"Roof and Meadow" by Dallas Lore Sharp

In poetry:

Free as the wind he blows,
Door nor gate to balk him,
Riches, hey! Now give place!
Poverty goes walking!
"The Song Of The Spensthrift" by Ivan Nikitin
In the ship-yard, idly talking,
At the ship the workmen stared:
Some one, all their labor balking,
Down her sides had cut deep gashes,
Not a plank was spared!
"Tales Of A Wayside Inn : Part 1. The Musician's Tale; The Saga of King Olaf XIII. -- The Building Of" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
To him Philemon: 'I'll not balk
Thy will with any shackle;
Wilt add a harden to thy walk?
There! take her without further talk:
You're both but fit to cackle!'
"Gold Egg: A Dream-Fantasy" by James Russell Lowell
What we did as we climbed, and what we talked of
Matters not much, nor to what it led, —
Something that life will not be balked of
Without rude reason till hope is dead,
And feeling fled.
"At Castle Boterel" by Thomas Hardy
No balk retarding, no anchor anchoring, on no rock striking,
Swift, glad, content, unbereav'd, nothing losing,
Of all able and ready at any time to give strict account,
The divine ship sails the divine sea.
"Carol Of Words" by Walt Whitman
No danger shall balk Columbia's lovers,
If need be, a thousand shall sternly immolate themselves for one,
The Kanuck shall be willing to lay down his life for the Kansian, and
the Kansian for the Kanuck, on due need.
"States!" by Walt Whitman

In news:

But, to Fender 's embarrassment, investors balked.
Financier balks at possible 225-year sentence.
The political satire's writers say the US co-production partner never balked at the show's trademark profanity.
A former interim superintendent at the El Paso Independent School District said he balked at a request by a state monitor to suspend employees suspected of participating in a scheme to cheat state and federal accountability measures.
A's hitting instructor banned by California League over balks.
Intentional balks not the best way to end game.
Balks at White House Plan on Fiscal Crisis.
But council members balked, saying $12,000 is enough of a salary.
When I started noticing that my right arm balked a bit when I made a left turn in my truck I worried a bit.
NCAA Balks at Efforts to Loosen Restrictions on Athletes' Images in Ads.
Former Mayor Balks at Bulkhead Proposal for West Water Street.
On Thursday, Ann Romney made his annual birthday treat, meatloaf cakes, on Rachael Ray's show while the candidate collected the endorsement of Meat Loaf , another blast from the past who balked at the notion that the Cold War was over.
Mass murderer balks at prison conditions.
TVA employees balk at Obama plan to pay for pension benefits.
Prime Minister David Cameron balks at the proposal.

In science:

Let us suppose the bodies A and B are balks with rectangular cross-sections, and their length is much greater than the minimal cross-section side. Such a supposition does not restrict the generality, because each form can be divided in such balks.
Classical teleportation
Glynn. 2005. A diffusion approximation for a GI /GI /1 queue with balking or reneging.
Martingale proofs of many-server heavy-traffic limits for Markovian queues
The images that are excluded by these cuts contain either very bright stars or peculiarities that cause the SDSS image-processing pipeline to balk. Blind astrometric calibration of arbitrary astronomical images
Inconsistency of the Riemannian geometry, obtained in the framework of the pluralistic approach, is a very serious balk for application of the Riemannian geometry in the relativistic theory of gravitation.
Monistic conception of geometry
Readers who balk at the idea of supplying a 2-CNF formula as an example for an exponential-time algorithm may try to generalize (10) for values of k ≥ 3.
PPZ For More Than Two Truth Values - An Algorithm for Constraint Satisfaction Problems