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


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May 30, 2015
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