junk

1 of 3

noun (1)

1
a(1)
: old iron, glass, paper, or other waste that may be used again in some form
(2)
: secondhand, worn, or discarded articles
b
: something of poor quality : trash
c
: something of little meaning, worth, or significance
2
: pieces of old cable or cordage used especially to make gaskets, mats, swabs, or oakum
3
slang : narcotics
especially : heroin
4
5
: baseball pitches that break or are off-speed (such as curveballs or changeups)
6
slang : male genitalia

junk

2 of 3

verb

junked; junking; junks

transitive verb

: to get rid of as worthless : scrap

junk

3 of 3

noun (2)

: any of various ships of Chinese waters with bluff lines, a high poop and overhanging stem, little or no keel, high pole masts, and a deep rudder

Illustration of junk

Illustration of junk
  • 3junk
Choose the Right Synonym for junk

discard, cast, shed, slough, scrap, junk mean to get rid of.

discard implies the letting go or throwing away of something that has become useless or superfluous though often not intrinsically valueless.

discard old clothes

cast, especially when used with off, away, or out, implies a forceful rejection or repudiation.

cast off her friends

shed and slough imply a throwing off of something both useless and encumbering and often suggest a consequent renewal of vitality or luster.

shed a bad habit
finally sloughed off the depression

scrap and junk imply throwing away or breaking up as worthless in existent form.

scrap all the old ways
would junk our educational system

Examples of junk in a Sentence

Noun (1) couldn't believe that such junk was chosen to be read for the book club my car is junk—it spends more time in the shop than on the road junk on the side of the road waiting for the trash collection Verb We decided to junk our old computer and buy a new one. we'll have to junk this old car
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Likewise, Roberts wrote the decision overturning Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, junking the 40-year-old rule that courts should generally defer to the interpretations of administrative agencies. Ruth Marcus, Washington Post, 12 July 2024 The traditional yellow truck looks junked and burned with red paint and scorch marks on the body. Brady MacDonald, Orange County Register, 7 June 2024 The City of Detroit is handling litter pick up, junking and sweeping within the city. Dana Afana, Detroit Free Press, 13 Mar. 2024 Some council members felt the city would undermine that commitment by junking the contract’s diversity requirement. Jaime Moore-Carrillo, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 15 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for junk 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'junk.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English jonke

Noun (2)

Portuguese junco, from Javanese joṅ

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb

1911, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1555, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of junk was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near junk

Cite this Entry

“Junk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/junk. Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

junk

1 of 3 noun
1
: articles discarded as worthless
2
: something of poor quality : trash
3
slang : narcotic entry 1 sense 1
especially : heroin
junky adjective

junk

2 of 3 verb
: to get rid of as worthless : scrap

junk

3 of 3 noun
: a ship of eastern Asia with a high stern and four-cornered sails
Etymology

Noun

Middle English jonke "piece of old or worn-out rope"

Noun

from Portuguese junco "a Chinese ship"

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