\ 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 Worse, the five individuals who fit the requirements best are all people who, in any normal testing program, would flunk the first interview. Tom Shippey, WSJ, "Science Fiction: ‘Into the Light’ Review," 26 Feb. 2021 The vast majority of DREs flunk the paper test, according to data collected by Verified Voting. Pat Beall, USA TODAY, "Will your ballot be safe? Computer experts sound warnings on America's voting machines," 2 Nov. 2020 This year, about 10,000 people will take the California bar exam and, based on past results, about 6,000 of them will flunk. Steve Rubenstein, SFChronicle.com, "‘Probably my last chance’: 87-year-old seeks one last try at bar exam," 4 Oct. 2020 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 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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Statistics for flunk

Last Updated

9 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flunk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flunk. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flunk

Nglish: Translation of flunk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flunk for Arabic Speakers

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