- noun the stem of a plant which holds a leaf, a flower or a fruit
- verb to stay near someone and watch him or her all the time, especially in a way that is frightening or upsetting
- noun the main stem of a plant which holds the plant upright
- noun a subsidiary stem of a plant, branching out from the main stem or attaching a leaf, flower or fruit
- noun a piece of tissue which attaches a growth to the main tissue
Origin & History of “stalk”
English has two distinct words stalk. The noun, ‘plant stem’ (14th c.), probably originated as a diminutive form of the now extinct stale ‘long handle’, a word distantly related to Greek steleā́ ‘handle’. The verb, ‘track stealthily’ (OE), goes back to a prehistoric Germanic *stalkōjan, which was formed from the same base as produced English steal. The sense ‘walk haughtily’, diametrically opposed to ‘track stealthily’, emerged in the 16th century.