\ 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 The Michigan legislature had chosen this year, of all years, to enforce a strict new literacy law: Any third grader who could not read proficiently by May could flunk and be held back. Annie Waldman, ProPublica, 3 July 2021 And journalists would raise their game, not flunk big stories like Brexit and Mr. Trump’s rise. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, 8 June 2021 Such interactions could lead to wrongful arrest, prosecution, and government liens for those who’ve done nothing more than flunk a flawed algorithmic test. Albert Fox Cahn, Wired, 9 June 2021 Companies that scored below a certain threshold would flunk the test, leading either to remedial action or, potentially, a ban. Annie Brown, Forbes, 7 Apr. 2021 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, 26 Feb. 2021 The vast majority of DREs flunk the paper test, according to data collected by Verified Voting. Pat Beall, USA TODAY, 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, 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, 7 May 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, 19 Sep. 2019 Doesn’t Avis know some states (including Massachusetts) flunk vehicles with faulty wipers in safety inspections? Sean P. Murphy, BostonGlobe.com, 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, 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

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Statistics for flunk

Last Updated

7 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flunk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flunk. Accessed 29 Jul. 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on flunk

Nglish: Translation of flunk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flunk for Arabic Speakers


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