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English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'

Stalking-horse   /stˈɔkɪŋ-hɔrs/   Listen

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

... that height that I think I foresee resistance on the part of the middle-class, and some combination in perspective for abolishing the middleman, whensoever he turns up (which is everywhere) between producer and consumer. The cattle plague is the butcher's stalking-horse, and it is unquestionably worse than it was; but seeing that the great majority of creatures lost or destroyed have been cows, and likewise that the rise in butchers' meat bears no reasonable proportion to the market prices ...
— The Letters of Charles Dickens - Vol. 2 (of 3), 1857-1870 • Charles Dickens

... between that gentleman and the Captain opened a fair prospect for the latter. Mr. Sheldon was interested in the formation of a certain joint-stock company, but had his own reasons for not wishing to be identified with it. A stalking-horse is by no means a difficult kind of animal to procure in the cattle-fairs of London; but a stalking-horse whose paces are sufficiently showy and imposing—a high-stepper, of thoroughbred appearance, and a mouth sensitively ...
— Birds of Prey • M. E. Braddon

... of innocence!" he added. "Let the great of the earth give but half the care to prevent, that they show to punish, offences against themselves, and what is now called justice will no longer be a stalking-horse to enable a few to live at the cost of the rest. As for me, I am proof of what noble blood and illustrious ancestry can do for themselves! Stolen when a child, Nature has had fair play in my temperament, which I own is more ...
— The Headsman - The Abbaye des Vignerons • James Fenimore Cooper

... will be answered by human sympathies. Popularity too often gains its ascendency behind the hypocrite's mask in religion; it is usually a magnificent mystification in politics; it frequently becomes the patriot's stalking-horse, on which he rides to power; in social life, it is the reward of empty smiles, unmeaning bows, and hollow squeezes of the hand; but with the player, the poet, and all whose pursuits bring them directly in contact with the passions, ...
— Afloat And Ashore • James Fenimore Cooper

... tied to its curved front a thin slab of snowy ice, and laying his gun behind it, approached the flock as near as possible, under cover of the hummocks. About three hundred yards of level ice still intervened, and lying down behind his snow-screen, he slowly moved his ingenious stalking-horse towards the flock. Had he understood the nature of the birds thoroughly, it is probable that his device would have succeeded splendidly; but when he was still about a hundred yards distant, the wary leader became suspicious, and gave ...
— Adrift in the Ice-Fields • Charles W. Hall

... nothing 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 ...
— The House Behind the Cedars • Charles W. Chesnutt

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

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