The inedible parts of a grain-producing plant.
- To separate out the chaff , early cultures tossed baskets of grain into the air and let the wind blow away the lighter chaff.
By extension, any excess or unwanted material, resource, or person; anything worthless.
- So take the corn and leave the chaff behind.
- There are plenty of good books on the subject, but take care to separate the wheat from the chaff .
Loose material dropped from aircraft specifically to interfere with radar detection.
Straw or hay cut up fine for the food of cattle.
- the chaff and ruin of the times
Light jesting talk; banter; raillery.
- By adding chaff' to his corn, the horse must take more time to eat it. In this way ' chaff is very useful.
* separate the wheat from the chaff
To use light, idle language by way of fun or ridicule; to banter.
To make fun of; to turn into ridicule by addressing in ironical or bantering language; to quiz.
From (etyl) stalke, diminutive of stale'' 'ladder upright, stalk', from (etyl) stalu 'wooden upright', from (etyl) ).
The stem or main axis of a plant, which supports the seed-carrying parts.
*:Three chairs of the steamer type, all maimed, comprised the furniture of this roof-garden, withon one of the copings a row of four red clay flower-pots filled with sun-baked dust from which gnarled and rusty stalks thrust themselves up like withered elfin limbs.
The petiole, pedicel, or peduncle of a plant.
Something resembling the stalk of a plant, such as the stem of a quill.
(lb) An ornament in the Corinthian capital resembling the stalk of a plant, from which the volutes and helices spring.
One of the two upright pieces of a ladder.
#A stem or peduncle, as in certain barnacles and crinoids.
#The narrow basal portion of the abdomen of a hymenopterous insect.
#The peduncle of the eyes of decapod crustaceans.
(lb) An iron bar with projections inserted in a core to strengthen it; a core arbor.
From (etyl) stalken, from (etyl) -).
[Robert K. Barnhart and Sol Steinmetz, eds., ''Chambers Dictionary of Etymology , s.v. "stalk2" (New York: Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd., 2006), 1057.]
Alternate etymology connects (etyl) 'to steal'.
(lb) To approach slowly and quietly in order not to be discovered when getting closer.
*Sir (Walter Scott) (1771-1832)
*:As for shooting a man from behind a wall, it is cruelly like to stalking a deer.
*:But they had already discovered that he could be bullied, and they had it their own way; and presently Selwyn lay prone upon the nursery floor, impersonating a ladrone while pleasant shivers chased themselves over Drina, whom he was stalking .
(lb) To (try to) follow or contact someone constantly, often resulting in harassment.(w)
(lb) To walk slowly and cautiously; to walk in a stealthy, noiseless manner.
*(John Dryden) (1631-1700)
*:[Bertran] stalks close behind her, like a witch's fiend, / Pressing to be employed.
(lb) To walk behind something, such as a screen, for the purpose of approaching game; to proceed under cover.
*(Francis Bacon) (1561-1626)
*:The king"I must stalk ," said he.
*(Michael Drayton) (1563-1631)
*:One underneath his horse, to get a shoot doth stalk .
A particular episode of trying to follow or contact someone.
A hunt (of a wild animal).
1530, 'to walk haughtily', perhaps from (etyl) 'high, lofty, steep, stiff'; see above
To walk haughtily.
- With manly mien he stalked along the ground.
- Then stalking through the deep, / He fords the ocean.
- I forbear myself from entering the lists in which he has long stalked alone and unchallenged.