Dictionary

1spunk

noun \ˈspəŋk\

: spirit, courage, and determination

Full Definition of SPUNK

1
a :  a woody tinder :  punk
b :  any of various fungi used to make tinder
2
:  mettle, pluck
ADVERTISEMENT

Examples of SPUNK

  1. That little girl has a lot of spunk.
  2. <had the spunk to overcome a severe physical disability>

Origin of SPUNK

Scottish Gaelic spong sponge, tinder, from Middle Irish spongc, from Latin spongia sponge
First Known Use: 1582

2spunk

intransitive verb

Definition of SPUNK

dial
:  to show spirit —usually used with up

First Known Use of SPUNK

1840

Other Dialect Terms

bespoke, boughten, lave, muchacho, nigh, thunk, toboggan
SPUNK[2] Defined for Kids

spunk

noun \ˈspəŋk\

Definition of SPUNK for Kids

Word History of SPUNK

The English word spunk comes from spong, a word in Scottish Gaelic (the traditional language of northern Scotland) that meant tinder or sponge. This word, in turn, came from Latin spongia, sponge. The English word at first meant tinder, which is a spongy material that catches fire easily. Since the human spirit can also be thought of as catching fire, spunk came to mean spirit.

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: spunkiePrevious Word in the Dictionary: spun hayAll Words Near: spunk
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