use-icon

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

Learn what the dictionary tells you about words.

Get Started Now!

Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you enter them into the search window. If a compound term doesn’t appear in the drop-down list, try entering the term into the search window and then hit the search button (instead of the “enter” key). Alternatively, begin searches for compound terms with a quotation mark.

use-icon

THE USAGE PANEL

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. The Panelists are surveyed annually to gauge the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

puzzle-icon

NEED HELP SOLVING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE?

Go to our Crossword Puzzle Solver and type in the letters that you know, and the Solver will produce a list of possible solutions.

open-icon

INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

Check out the Dictionary Society of North America at http://www.dictionarysociety.com

open-icon

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

The new American Heritage Dictionary app is now available for iOS and Android.

scroll-icon

INDO-EUROPEAN & SEMITIC ROOTS APPENDICES

Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

Indo-European Roots

Semitic Roots

The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

open-icon

OPEN DICTIONARY PROJECT

Share your ideas for new words and new meanings of old words!

Start Sharing Now!

100-words-icon

See word lists from the best-selling 100 Words Series!

Find out more!

walk (wôk)
Share:
v. walked, walk·ing, walks
v.intr.
1. To move over a surface by taking steps with the feet at a pace slower than a run: a baby learning to walk; a horse walking around a riding ring.
2.
a. To go or travel on foot: walked to the store.
b. To go on foot for pleasure or exercise; stroll: walked along the beach looking for shells.
c. To move in a manner suggestive of walking: saw a woodpecker walking up the tree trunk.
3. To conduct oneself or behave in a particular manner; live: walks in majesty and pride.
4. To appear as a supernatural being: The specter of famine walks through the land.
5. Informal
a. To go out on strike.
b. To resign from one's job abruptly; quit.
c. To be acquitted: The alleged killer walked.
6.
a. Baseball To go to first base after the pitcher has thrown four pitches ruled as balls.
b. Basketball To move illegally while holding the ball; travel.
7. Obsolete To be in constant motion.
v.tr.
1. To go or pass over, on, or through by walking: walk the financial district of a city.
2. To bring to a specified condition by walking: They walked me to exhaustion.
3. To cause to walk or proceed at a walk: walk a horse uphill.
4. To accompany in walking; escort on foot: walk the children home; walked me down the hall.
5. To traverse on foot in order to survey or measure; pace off: walked the bounds of the property.
6. To move (a heavy or cumbersome object) in a manner suggestive of walking: walked the bureau into the hall.
7. Baseball
a. To allow (a batter) to go to first base by throwing four pitches ruled as balls.
b. To cause (a run) to score by walking a batter. Often used with in.
n.
1.
a. The gait of a human or other biped in which the feet are lifted alternately with one part of a foot always on the ground.
b. The gait of a quadruped in which at least two feet are always touching the ground, especially the gait of a horse in which the feet touch the ground in the four-beat sequence of near hind foot, near forefoot, off hind foot, off forefoot.
c. The self-controlled extravehicular movement in space of an astronaut.
2. The act or an instance of walking, especially a stroll for pleasure or exercise.
3.
a. The rate at which one walks; a walking pace.
b. The characteristic way in which one walks.
4. The distance covered or to be covered in walking.
5. A place, such as a sidewalk or promenade, on which one may walk.
6. A route or circuit particularly suitable for walking: one of the prettiest walks in the area.
7.
a. Baseball A base on balls.
b. Basketball The act or an instance of moving illegally with the ball; traveling.
8. Sports
a. A track event in which contestants compete in walking a specified distance.
b. Racewalking.
9. An enclosed area designated for the exercise or pasture of livestock.
10.
a. An arrangement of trees or shrubs planted in widely spaced rows.
b. The space between such rows.
Phrasal Verbs:
walk out
1. To go on strike.
2. To leave suddenly, often as a signal of disapproval.
walk over Informal
1. To treat badly or contemptuously.
2. To gain an easy or uncontested victory over.
walk through
To perform (a play, for example) in a perfunctory fashion, as at a first rehearsal.
Idioms:
walk away from
1. To outdo, outrun, or defeat with little difficulty: walked away from the competition.
2. To survive (an accident) with very little injury.
3. To refuse to accept (an offer, for example).
4. To decline to continue participation in (a job, relationship, or activity, for example), often abruptly or nonchalantly.
5. To abandon (a property) on which one owes a mortgage, as when the principal of the mortgage exceeds the market value of the house.
walk in the park
Something that is easy to do or accomplish.
walk off/away with
1. To win easily or unexpectedly.
2. To steal.
walk of shame
Slang The walk home from a place where one unexpectedly spent the night engaged in activity, especially casual sex, considered embarrassing or shameful.
walk on air
To feel elated.
walk out on
To desert or abandon.
walk (someone) through
To guide (someone) deliberately through (a process), one step at a time: She walked me through the installation of new software.
walk the plank
To be forced, as by pirates, to walk off a plank extended over the side of a ship so as to drown.
walk the walk
1. To have skill, ability, or experience in a given activity or field.
2. To do what one claims one will do; deliver on one's promises.

[Middle English walken, from Old English wealcan, to roll; see wel-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

walka·bili·ty n.
walka·ble adj.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.