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Stalking-horse   /stˈɔkɪŋ-hɔrs/   Listen
Stalking-horse

noun
1.
A candidate put forward to divide the Opposition or to mask the true candidate.
2.
Something serving to conceal plans; a fictitious reason that is concocted in order to conceal the real reason.  Synonym: pretext.
3.
Screen consisting of a figure of a horse behind which a hunter hides while stalking game.
4.
A horse behind which a hunter hides while stalking game.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Stalking-horse" Quotes from Famous Books



... his devotional feelings, and by presenting a pathetic picture of his suffering and devout son vowing in the land where his father's wrath had driven him. It is not the first time that religion has been made the stalking-horse for criminal ambition, nor is it the last. Politicians are but too apt to use it as a cloak for their personal ends. Absalom talking about his vow is a spectacle that might have made the most unsuspecting sure that there was something in the wind. Such a use of ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... to be taken for a mere book-merchant, a mercenary purveyor of learning and invention, of religion and philosophy, of instruction, or even of amusements, for the sole consideration of value received, as one would use a stalking-horse for getting near a stag? this, too, when ten to one some cormorant on the tree of knowledge, some staid-looking publisher in decent mourning, is complacently pocketing the profits, and modestly charging you with loss? and this, moreover and more poignantly, when the flame of responsibility on some ...
— The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... to do with it," retorted Warwick. "God is too often a convenient stalking-horse for human selfishness. If there is anything to be done, so unjust, so despicable, so wicked that human reason revolts at it, there is always some smug hypocrite to exclaim, 'It is the will ...
— The House Behind the Cedars • Charles W. Chesnutt

... satyrist that ever existed. He does not, like many Clowns, content himself with raising a horse-laugh by contortions and grimaces, but tickles the fancy, and excites the risibility of an audience by devices as varied as they are ingenious. "He uses his folly as a stalking-horse, under cover of which he shoots his wit;" and fully deserves the encomium bestowed upon him by Kemble, who, it is said, pronounced him to be "the best low ...
— A History of Pantomime • R. J. Broadbent

... the great Puritan leader than is to be found in any other publication known to us:—Crusades, a complete picture in little of those great fitful blazes of religious enthusiasm by which it flickered into its final extinction; (for, afterward, only a semblance of it was made a stalking-horse by politicians;) and this article is quite a model of epitome:—Cuneiform Inscriptions, in which the writer has presented concisely and clearly the fruits of a careful examination of all the many theories that have been broached ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 27, January, 1860 • Various



Words linked to "Stalking-horse" :   Equus caballus, horse, pretense, screen, cover, nominee, campaigner, covert, feigning, concealment, putoff, pretence, dissembling, candidate



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