honky-tonk

noun
hon·​ky-tonk | \ ˈhäŋ-kē-ˌtäŋk How to pronounce honky-tonk (audio) , ˈhȯŋ-kē-ˌtȯŋk \

Definition of honky-tonk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a usually tawdry nightclub or dance hall especially : one that features country music
2 : a district marked by places of cheap entertainment
3 : country music that has a heavy beat and lyrics dealing usually with vice or misfortune

honky-tonk

adjective

Definition of honky-tonk (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, used in, or being a form of ragtime piano playing performed typically on an upright piano
2 : marked by or characteristic of honky-tonks

Other Words from honky-tonk

Noun

honky-tonker \ ˈhäŋ-​kē-​ˌtäŋ-​kər How to pronounce honky-tonk (audio) , ˈhȯŋ-​kē-​ˌtȯŋ-​ \ noun

First Known Use of honky-tonk

Noun

1889, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1899, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for honky-tonk

Noun

origin unknown

Learn More About honky-tonk

Time Traveler for honky-tonk

Time Traveler

The first known use of honky-tonk was in 1889

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near honky-tonk

honky

honky-tonk

honnête homme

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for honky-tonk

Cite this Entry

“Honky-tonk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honky-tonk. Accessed 23 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for honky-tonk

honky-tonk

noun

English Language Learners Definition of honky-tonk

: a type of lively music usually performed on a piano
: a type of country music with a heavy beat
: a cheap nightclub or dance hall that often features country music

More from Merriam-Webster on honky-tonk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for honky-tonk

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about honky-tonk

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!