: unpleasantly moist or wet
a dank basement
dankly adverb
dankness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for dank

wet, damp, dank, moist, humid mean covered or more or less soaked with liquid.

wet usually implies saturation but may suggest a covering of a surface with water or something (such as paint) not yet dry.

slipped on the wet pavement

damp implies a slight or moderate absorption and often connotes an unpleasant degree of moisture.

clothes will mildew if stored in a damp place

dank implies a more distinctly disagreeable or unwholesome dampness.

a prisoner in a cold, dank cell

moist applies to what is slightly damp or not felt as dry.

treat the injury with moist heat

humid applies to the presence of much water vapor in the air.

a hot, humid climate

Examples of dank in a Sentence

vegetables tended to go bad quickly in the dank cellar
Recent Examples on the Web All of this is performed in a 135,000-square-foot factory in the dankest recesses of Lima, Ohio, by S&S Superior, a company that has been building hearses for 71 years. John Phillips, Car and Driver, 26 Aug. 2023 Behind the excitement of discovery, there is that terrible void again: all the records that have vanished or that, even more tantalizingly, are crumbling away in dank basements. Fintan O’Toole, The New York Review of Books, 20 July 2023 The rail and highway underpasses linking Victory and the Design District would be given new illumination and signage, transforming these dank passages into ceremonial gateways. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, 29 June 2023 Inside, fans will glimpse iconic game locations including The Hotel Grand and a labyrinth of dark and dank tunnels, and come face-to-face with terrifying Clickers, Raiders, Runners and Stalkers, as well as the band of hostile humans known as The Hunters. Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 June 2023 The complex is now a museum and memorial to Stasi victims, with dank cellblocks and labyrinthine corridors carefully preserved, together with artifacts like paintings and poetry depicting the suffering of detainees. Laura King, Los Angeles Times, 15 June 2023 But under the sea in the 2023 remake, the ocean is dank and dark, the fish are slimy, scary and bug-eyed and the only thing defying science is Melissa McCarthy's eyeshadow, which stays immaculate underwater. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, 1 June 2023 The idea of humans evolving in dank rain forests did not appeal to Western scientists who lived in temperate climes. Carl Zimmer, Discover Magazine, 3 Aug. 2011 Project Alpha was run by Joseph Verner Reed, a seemingly upright Chase banker and future ambassador under Reagan, who was shockingly proud of his role in making the hostages suffer months longer, confined and often mistreated in dank basements. Jonathan Alter, The New Republic, 3 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dank.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English danke

First Known Use

1573, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dank was in 1573

Dictionary Entries Near dank

Cite this Entry

“Dank.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dank. Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: unpleasantly moist or wet
dankly adverb
dankness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on dank

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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