\ 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


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

Some of the company's homes also flunked Indianapolis Housing Authority inspections. Tim Evans, Indianapolis Star, "5 housing schemes that dragged down Indianapolis neighborhoods," 28 June 2019 Photo: Ahn Young-joon/Associated Press Students can flunk the dating courses through low test scores, failure to turn in papers chronicling their fake dates, or missing too many classes. Mary Ryu, WSJ, "Failing at Love? Maybe It’s Time for Classes," 15 Feb. 2019 Roberts flunked his physical with the New England Patriots, voiding the deal for a conditional 2020 seventh-round pick. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Free-agent DT Domata Peko 'trying to work some stuff out' with Detroit Lions," 29 Jan. 2019 All this is still tenuous, but the idea is ready to pass or flunk based on what happens next in the FRB story. Quanta Magazine, "With a Second Repeating Radio Burst, Astronomers Close In on an Explanation," 28 Feb. 2019 And yet despite the theoretical ease with which these very minimal requirements might be met, some iconic films flunk the test—among them the entire original Star Wars trilogy, The Lion King, and Forrest Gump. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test Make More Money, Says a New Study," 11 Dec. 2018 White adopted it after the dog flunked seeing-eye aide training. Fox News, "Betty White's 80-year Hollywood career honored with PBS special," 1 Aug. 2018 Dwyer said authorities talked with Ream several times and that Ream flunked a polygraph. Ann Zaniewski, Detroit Free Press, "Police: Up to 6 girls may be buried at Macomb Twp. site," 8 May 2018 Popular SUVs flunk crash tests Of eight SUVs, the Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee had the worst results for midsize SUVs in crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. USA TODAY, "They'll always have Singapore," 12 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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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Learn More about flunk

Dictionary Entries near flunk





flunk out



Statistics for flunk

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flunk

The first known use of flunk was in 1823

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More Definitions for flunk



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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More from Merriam-Webster on flunk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flunk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flunk

Spanish Central: Translation of flunk

Nglish: Translation of flunk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flunk for Arabic Speakers

Comments on flunk

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


to move or obtain by small maneuvers

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