: a substance with a penetrating persistent odor obtained from a sac beneath the abdominal skin of the male musk deer and used as a perfume fixative
also : a similar substance from another animal or a synthetic substitute
: the odor of musk
also : an odor resembling musk especially in heaviness or persistence
: any of various plants with musky odors
especially : musk plant

Examples of musk in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Notes: Bulgarian rose, peach blossom, musk Sizes: 3.4 oz. Ariana Yaptangco, Glamour, 24 Jan. 2024 This perfume comes in a luxe glass bottle and features notes of nude musk and sweet rose for an everyday scent. Jessie Quinn, Peoplemag, 4 Feb. 2024 Its profile comes across as a floral amber musk with a Lily of the Valley top note, an Ambergris middle note, and a dry Amber Woods base. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 1 Feb. 2024 To create the same intoxicating effect, golden orchid is enveloped in warm amber, vanilla, and musk. Ariana Yaptangco, Glamour, 24 Jan. 2024 Guests can get up-close views of grizzly bears, moose, musk oxen and other indigenous Alaskan animals. Maeghan Dolph, Fox News, 6 Jan. 2024 The paraben-free and cruelty-free gloss is fragranced with Ouai's North Bondi Eau de Parfum (think white musk and beachy florals) and promises heat protection, color fading prevention, frizz-reduction, strength, and shininess. Annie Blackman, Allure, 25 Jan. 2024 Notes: Golden orchid, amber, musk, vanilla Sizes: 1.7 oz., 0.27 oz. Ariana Yaptangco, Glamour, 24 Jan. 2024 Its blend of ambers and musk is refreshing yet sophisticated, perfect for those who prefer to smell fresh and clean. Kathy Barr, Rolling Stone, 21 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle English muske, from Middle French musc, from Late Latin muscus, from Late Greek moschos, from Middle Persian *mušk-, from Sanskrit muṣka testicle, from diminutive of mūṣ mouse; akin to Old English mūs mouse

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near musk

Cite this Entry

“Musk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/musk. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a strong-smelling substance obtained usually from the male musk deer and used in perfume
also : a substance of comparable odor that is from another animal (as a skunk) or is prepared artificially
: an odor of or resembling that of musk

More from Merriam-Webster on musk

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