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Stalking-horse   Listen
Stalking-horse  n.  
A horse, or a figure resembling a horse, behind which a hunter conceals himself from the game he is aiming to kill.
Fig.: Something used to cover up a secret project; a mask; a pretense. "Hypocrisy is the devil's stalking-horse under an affectation of simplicity and religion." "How much more abominable is it to make of him (Christ) and religion a stalking-horse, to get and enjoy the world!"

Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48

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"Stalking-horse" Quotes from Famous Books

... drift of the family intentions, in this letter. Gerald wanted her to be attached to the household at Shortlands, he was using Winifred as his stalking-horse. The father thought only of his child, he saw a rock of salvation in Gudrun. And Gudrun admired him for his perspicacity. The child, moreover, was really exceptional. Gudrun was quite content. She was quite willing, given a studio, to spend her days at Shortlands. She disliked the ...
— Women in Love • D. H. Lawrence

... discretion not to inform Murat how correctly he had divined the plans of the Emperor and his projects as to Italy, but in regard to the Continental system, which, perhaps, the reader will be inclined to call my great stalking-horse, I spoke of it as I had done to the Prince of Sweden, and I perceived that he was fully disposed to follow my advice, as experience has sufficiently proved. It was in fact the Continental system which separated the interests of Murat from those of the Emperor, and which compelled ...
— Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete • Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne

... admiration which such a character naturally inspires, is disturbed by an oblique and ill-timed stroke of satire. She is not praised so much as others are blamed, and is degraded by the Author in thus being made a covert or stalking-horse for gratifying a propensity the most abhorrent from her own nature—'Passion and pride were to her soul unknown.' It cannot be meant that she had no passions, but that they were moderate and kept in subordination ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... under an idea that he was qualified for a turf-man, and, like most who are afflicted with that disorder, suffered severely. The animals he kept, instead of being safe running horses for him, generally made him a safe stalking-horse for others. Upon one occasion he came to the theatre in great ill-humour, having just received the account of a race which he had lost. Cross was busily engaged in writing, and cross at the interruption he met with from Saunders's ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. 17, No. 483., Saturday, April 2, 1831 • Various

Words linked to "Stalking-horse" :   putoff, pretense, screen, candidate, Equus caballus, feigning, pretext, campaigner, horse, dissembling, nominee

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