\ ˈfəŋk How to pronounce funk (audio) \

Definition of funk

 (Entry 1 of 6)

: a strong offensive smell


funked; funking; funks

Definition of funk (Entry 2 of 6)

intransitive verb

: to become frightened and shrink back

transitive verb

1 : to be afraid of : dread
2 : to shrink from undertaking or facing

Definition of funk (Entry 3 of 6)

1a : a state of paralyzing fear
b : a depressed state of mind
2 : one that funks : coward
3 : slump sense 1 an economic funk the team went into a funk

Definition of funk (Entry 4 of 6)

1 : music that combines elements of rhythm and blues and soul music and that is characterized by a percussive vocal style, static harmonies, and a strong bass line with heavy downbeats
2 : the quality or state of being funky jeans … have lost much of their funk— Tom Wolfe


biographical name (1)
\ ˈfu̇ŋk How to pronounce Funk (audio) , ˈfəŋk How to pronounce Funk (audio) \

Definition of Funk (Entry 5 of 6)

Casimir 1884–1967 American (Polish-born) biochemist


biographical name (2)
\ ˈfəŋk How to pronounce Funk (audio) \

Definition of Funk (Entry 6 of 6)

Isaac Kauffman 1839–1912 American editor and publisher

First Known Use of funk

Noun (1)

1606, in the meaning defined above


circa 1746, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun (2)

1743, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (3)

1970, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for funk

Noun (1)

probably ultimately from French dialect (Picard) funquer to give off smoke

Noun (2)

perhaps from obsolete Dutch dialect (Flanders) fonck

Noun (3)

back-formation from funky entry 1

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Cite this Entry

“Funk.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/funk?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=f&file=funk0001. Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for funk


\ ˈfəŋk How to pronounce funk (audio) \

Kids Definition of funk

: a sad or worried state Bad luck left him in a funk.

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More from Merriam-Webster on funk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for funk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with funk

Spanish Central: Translation of funk

Nglish: Translation of funk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of funk for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about funk

Comments on funk

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


a period of high artistic development

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