\ ˈfləŋk How to pronounce flunk (audio) \
flunked; flunking; flunks

Definition of flunk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to fail especially in an examination or course

transitive verb

1 : to give a failing grade to
2 : to get a failing grade or result in



Definition of flunk (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or instance of flunking

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Other Words from flunk


flunker noun

Examples of flunk in a Sentence

Verb If I flunk this class, I have to take it over again. If I flunk, I have to take this class over again. The teacher had to flunk two students.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In tests of about 11 masks that the F.D.A. had authorized to be sold to American hospitals, seven flunked. Jack Nicas, New York Times, "F.D.A. Bans Faulty Masks, 3 Weeks After Failed Tests," 7 May 2020 The British government flunked the coronavirus challenge; even in lockdown, nobody knows how to behave. Charlotte Mendelson, The New Yorker, "The Tonic of Gardening in Quarantine," 7 Apr. 2020 There even have been reports of teams medically flunking the former Alabama standout who seriously injured his hip. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, "If Chargers don’t pick quarterback in NFL draft, tackle or dominant defender likely," 22 Apr. 2020 Of course, not everyone who flunks a smell test is going to have coronavirus. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Loss of smell from coronavirus: How to test your sense," 3 Apr. 2020 Peterson missed the first half of the 2019 season after flunking a PED test and then played poorly after returning. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "Patrick Peterson listed among stars who could be traded before 2020 NFL season," 19 Feb. 2020 More than 20 varieties flunked the trial, an unusually high number for a plant of native origin, but that was put down to purposeful neglect and their genetic link to a Western species ill-suited to the Mid-Atlantic. Washington Post, "Hunting for herbs that add flavor in the kitchen and beauty in the garden," 5 Feb. 2020 No more drafting guys who are suspended for their last year in college and then flunk the drug test at the NFL combine (Antonio Callaway). Terry Pluto, cleveland, "Cleveland Browns owe their fans a Christmas present to make them proud," 25 Dec. 2019 Since 2004, Colorado has been flunking federal air quality health standards with ozone air pollution exceeding a decade-old federal limit of 75 parts per billion, let alone the current limit of 70 parts per billion. Bruce Finley, The Denver Post, "EPA declares Colorado a “serious” violator of federal air quality standards, forcing stricter efforts to reduce pollution," 16 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun However, all three flunk the smell test, and two of them fell by the wayside before the Legislature adjourned last week. Dan Walters, The Mercury News, "Walters: 3 bills to make California government larger, more intrusive," 19 Sep. 2019 Doesn’t Avis know some states (including Massachusetts) flunk vehicles with faulty wipers in safety inspections? Sean P. Murphy, BostonGlobe.com, "A broken windshield wiper on a rental car and the company’s less-than-ideal response — initially," 5 July 2019 And some students in general courses may test poorly or don't do their homework and flunk tests, educators say. Diane Rado, chicagotribune.com, "Tribune analysis: College prep courses not preparing kids for college," 19 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flunk.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of flunk


1823, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


1846, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for flunk


perhaps blend of flinch and funk

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Time Traveler for flunk

Time Traveler

The first known use of flunk was in 1823

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Statistics for flunk

Cite this Entry

“Flunk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flunk. Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for flunk


How to pronounce flunk (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of flunk

US, informal
: to get a failing grade in (something, such as an examination or course)
: to give a failing grade to (someone)


\ ˈfləŋk How to pronounce flunk (audio) \
flunked; flunking

Kids Definition of flunk

: fail entry 1 sense 1 I flunked the test.

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Comments on flunk

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