noun \ˈskəŋk\

: a small black-and-white North American animal that produces a very strong and unpleasant smell when it is frightened or in danger

: a very bad or unpleasant person

plural skunks also skunk

Full Definition of SKUNK

a :  any of various common omnivorous black-and-white New World mammals (especially genus Mephitis) of the weasel family that have a pair of perineal glands from which a secretion of pungent and offensive odor is ejected
b :  the fur of a skunk
:  an obnoxious or disliked person

Examples of SKUNK

  1. Her brother's a low-down, dirty skunk.
  2. <he's nothing but a dirty, rotten skunk>

Illustration of SKUNK

Origin of SKUNK

earlier squuncke, from a Massachusett reflex of Algonquian *šeka·kwa, from šek- urinate + -a·kw fox, fox-like animal
First Known Use: 1634

Related to SKUNK

Other Mammals Terms

dormouse, dugong, gibbon, grimalkin, sable, stoat, ungulate, vole


transitive verb

Definition of SKUNK

a :  defeat
b :  to prevent entirely from scoring or succeeding :  shut out
:  to fail to pay; also :  cheat

Examples of SKUNK

  1. <we ended up skunking them, as our goalie was able to prevent the other team from scoring a single goal>
  2. <our football team consistently skunks our traditional rivals Thanksgiving after Thanksgiving>

First Known Use of SKUNK



geographical name

Definition of SKUNK

river 264 miles (425 kilometers) SE Iowa flowing SE into Mississippi River
SKUNKING Defined for Kids


noun \ˈskəŋk\

Definition of SKUNK for Kids

:  a North American animal related to the weasels that has coarse black-and-white fur and can squirt out a fluid with a very unpleasant smell


Next Word in the Dictionary: skunk bearPrevious Word in the Dictionary: skull sessionAll Words Near: skunk
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears