1 of 4

noun (1)

slang, disparaging
: a person and especially a woman of low or sleazy character


2 of 4

noun (2)

: a rhythmic dance performed by swinging the arms while bending the knees especially to reggae or ska
also : the music for this dance


3 of 4

verb (1)

skanked; skanking; skanks

intransitive verb

: to dance the skank


4 of 4

verb (2)

skanked; skanking; skanks

transitive verb

: to bungle (a stroke) in golf

Examples of skank in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Embellished with swirling, spikey synths this dub drenched instrumental highlights Family Man’s booming bassline that snakes its way around skanking guitars, bubbling keys and Fela Kuti-esque horns. Patricia Meschino, Rolling Stone, 4 Feb. 2024 The pit in front of the stage transforms into a whirl of boots skanking to the beat and harmonic horns. Heather Augustyn, Spin, 10 Oct. 2023 Flurries of flags from various countries were spotted in the mass of skanking Latinos, during their 45-minute set, including those representing Mexico, Puerto Rico and the band’s home country, Argentina. August Brown, Los Angeles Times, 16 Apr. 2023

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

Word History


Noun (1)

origin unknown

Noun (2)

Jamaican English

Verb (2)

probably alteration of shank entry 2

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1964, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1974, in the meaning defined above

Verb (1)

1973, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

1990, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of skank was in 1964

Dictionary Entries Near skank

Cite this Entry

“Skank.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

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