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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

... sorry on the whole for the catastrophe; for all that had kept him from conquering England long ago was the fear lest, after it was done, he might have had to put the crown thereof on Mary's head, instead of his own. But Mary's death was as convenient a stalking-horse to him as to the pope; and now the Armada ...
— Westward Ho! • Charles Kingsley

... acknowledged, would be fatal to the Whigs, and therefore they determined to reconstruct it. This is the origin of the recent parliamentary reform: the Whigs, in place without being in power, resolved as usual upon a coup-d'etat, and looked about for a stalking-horse. In general the difficult task had devolved upon them of having to accomplish their concealed purpose while apparently achieving some public object. Thus they had carried the Septennial Act on the plea of preserving England from popery, though their real object was to prolong the existence of ...
— Sketches • Benjamin Disraeli

... 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 House Behind the Cedars • Charles W. Chesnutt

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

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