noun (1)
\ ˈpəŋk How to pronounce punk (audio) \
plural punks

Definition of punk

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a usually petty gangster, hoodlum, or ruffian
2a : punk rock
b : a punk rock musician
c : one who affects punk styles
3a : a young inexperienced person : beginner, novice especially : a young man
b slang : a young man used as a sexual partner by another man especially in a prison
4 [probably partly from punk entry 3] : nonsense, foolishness
5 archaic : prostitute



Definition of punk (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : of or relating to punk rock
b : relating to or being a style (as of dress or hair) inspired by punk rock
2 : very poor : inferior played a punk game
3 : being in poor health said that she was feeling punk


noun (2)

Definition of punk (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : wood so decayed as to be dry, crumbly, and useful for tinder
2 : a preparation (as of a stick of coated wood) that burns slowly and is used to ignite fuses especially of fireworks

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Other Words from punk


punkish \ ˈpəŋ-​kish How to pronounce punk (audio) \ adjective

Examples of punk in a Sentence

Adjective she plays a punk game of tennis, so you won't have any trouble beating her the acting in the movie ranged all the way from poor to punk

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First Known Use of punk

Noun (1)

circa 1575, in the meaning defined at sense 5


1896, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun (2)

1678, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for punk

Noun (1)

origin unknown

Noun (2)

perhaps alteration of spunk

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Cite this Entry

“Punk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/punk. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for punk


\ ˈpəŋk How to pronounce punk (audio) \

Kids Definition of punk

: a rude and violent young man

More from Merriam-Webster on punk

Britannica English: Translation of punk for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about punk


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