Stalking horse


stalking horse

Definition of stalking horse


  • a person or thing that is used to conceal someone’s real intentions: you have used me simply as a stalking horse for some of your more outrageous views
  • a candidate in an election for the leadership of a political party who stands only in order to provoke the election and thus allow a stronger candidate to come forward: [as modifier]:a stalking-horse challenge
  • screen traditionally made in the shape of a horse behind which a hunter may stay concealed when stalking prey.


Early 16th century: from the former practice of using a horse trained to allow a fowler to hide behind it, or under its coverings, until within easy range of prey.

Oxford Dictionaries