1a roughly squared timber beam: a balk of timber 2the area on a billiard table between the balk line and the bottom cushion, within which in some circumstances a ball is protected from a direct stroke. 3 Baseball an unlawful action made by a pitcher that may deceive a base runner.
4a ridge left unploughed between furrows.
hesitate or be unwilling to accept an idea or undertaking:he balked at such a drastic solution [with object] thwart or hinder (a plan or person):he raised every objection he could to balk this plan [with object]
(balk someone of
) prevent a person or animal from having (something):a tiger balked of its prey
[with object] archaic miss or refuse (a chance or invitation): it’s got to be done, so why balk it? (with reference to a horse) refuse or cause to refuse to go on: [no object]:he balked, both forefeet thrust stiffly in front of him [with object]:most of the horses were balked and refused