Po·​dunk | \ ˈpō-ˌdəŋk How to pronounce Podunk (audio) \

Definition of Podunk

: a small, unimportant, and isolated town

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

I hear you ask, 'Where in the world is Podunk?' A correspondent asked that question of the editors of the Buffalo, New York, Daily National Pilot in 1846, then answered himself: "It is in the world, sir; and more than that, is a little world of itself." That writer may have introduced America to the concept of Podunk as an insignificant Anywhere, U.S.A., town, but the place isn't just imaginary; towns with that name have actually existed in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Iowa (and probably elsewhere) over the years. The exact origin of the name is murky, but it appears that "Podunk" comes from an Algonquian word, either the name of a tribe that inhabited an area near Hartford, Connecticut, or a more generic term meaning "swampy place."

Examples of Podunk in a Sentence

folks who move to the big city from Podunk

First Known Use of Podunk

1846, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Podunk

Podunk, village in Massachusetts or locality in Connecticut

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Podunk

Listen to Our Podcast about Podunk

Dictionary Entries near Podunk

pod shrimp


pod spot





Statistics for Podunk

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for Podunk

The first known use of Podunk was in 1846

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for Podunk



English Language Learners Definition of Podunk

US, informal : a small, unimportant town

More from Merriam-Webster on Podunk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with Podunk

Comments on Podunk

What made you want to look up Podunk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


recurring in steady succession

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!