Definition of stalking horse noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    stalking horse

     noun
    noun
    BrE
     
    ; NAmE
     
    [singular]
     
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  1. 1a person or thing that is used to hide the real purpose of a particular course of action
  2. 2a politician who competes against the leader of their party in order to see how much support the leader has; a stronger candidate can then compete against the leader more seriously
  3. Word Origin early 16th cent.: from the former practice of using a horse trained to allow a fowler (hunter of wildfowl) to hide behind it, or under its coverings, until within easy range of prey.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: stalking horse