skunk

noun
\ˈskəŋk \
plural skunks also skunk

Definition of skunk 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : any of various common omnivorous black-and-white New World mammals (especially genus Mephitis) of the weasel family that have a pair of perineal glands from which a secretion of pungent and offensive odor is ejected

b : the fur of a skunk

2 : an obnoxious or disliked person

skunk

verb
skunked; skunking; skunks

Definition of skunk (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : defeat

b : to prevent entirely from scoring or succeeding : shut out

2 : to fail to pay also : cheat

Skunk

geographical name

Definition of Skunk (Entry 3 of 3)

river 264 miles (425 kilometers) long in southeastern Iowa flowing southeast into the Mississippi River

Illustration of skunk

Illustration of skunk

Noun

skunk 1a

In the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of skunk in a Sentence

Noun

Her brother's a low-down, dirty skunk. he's nothing but a dirty, rotten skunk

Verb

we ended up skunking them, as our goalie was able to prevent the other team from scoring a single goal our football team consistently skunks our traditional rivals Thanksgiving after Thanksgiving
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The two main wildlife situations Animal Control will respond to are bats in a house or somewhere like a classroom, or where a skunk has bitten someone and is contained. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora Animal Control focusing on domestic animals rather than wildlife," 18 May 2018 The first lesson: never get into a pissing match with a skunk and the president does it every day. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Former U.S. Speaker John Boehner entertains crowd at Mackinac conference," 31 May 2018 Critter alert This valley is full of raccoons and skunks, both loving pet food. Margaret Lauterbach, idahostatesman, "Keeping our roses sweet requires a vigilant fight against bacterial cane blight," 29 June 2018 Bats, skunks and foxes are the main sources of rabies in Arizona, ADHS said. Angela Forburger, azcentral, "Rabies cases on the rise in Arizona, health officials warn," 20 June 2018 Rabies is carried by mammals — usually wild animals like raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes — and spreads to humans when a carrier bites them. Andy Marso, kansascity, "After JoCo bat tests positive for rabies, health department warns residents of danger," 10 July 2018 There have been 77 rabid animals — mostly skunks and foxes — reported as of May 31, an increase from the 54 reported at the same time last year, ADHS said. Angela Forburger, azcentral, "Rabies cases on the rise in Arizona, health officials warn," 20 June 2018 The panel immediately picked up on it as an uninspired version of Corona — all the way down to the prominent skunk character. Josh Noel, chicagotribune.com, "Can craft brewers make good light beer? Our tasting pits them against Bud, Miller, Coors, more," 12 July 2018 Between July 2017 and mid-June of this year, 116 raccoons, 60 skunks and 42 foxes tested positive for rabies in North Carolina. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "Be wary of these NC natural wonders this summer," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Getting skunked Such discoveries are becoming rarer, however, as hunters grapple with a problem: fewer relics in circulation. Daisy Maxey, WSJ, "Coin-Roll Hunting: The Secrets of a Treasure-Seeking Hobby," 6 May 2018 The parochial interests of members whose bases were on the chopping block consistently skunked the endeavor. Jay Cost, National Review, "Good Riddance to IPAB, the Independent Payment Advisory Board," 12 Feb. 2018 Just like so many Mizzou fans did on Saturday at Memorial Stadium watching what is now Odom’s product get skunked 35-3 by Purdue. Vahe Gregorian, kansascity, "Debacle against Purdue cranks up heat on Mizzou coach Barry Odom — and it should," 16 Sep. 2017 Overcast and somewhat cool temperatures at Mandeville High School were John Curtis battled Covington for a 7-0 win and Riverside Academy skunked Mandeville 28-0. David Grunfeld, NOLA.com, "Get your mind off of Hurricane Harvey and check out the photos from the Mandeville prep football jamboree," 26 Aug. 2017 For someone who in the past felt lucky to find a few morels — and more than once had been skunked — this seemed nothing short of miraculous. Bill Sherwonit, Alaska Dispatch News, "Confessions of a morel hunter," 5 Aug. 2017 EAGLE LAKE Fishing continues to be slow with most anglers getting skunked or picking up just one or two trout. sacbee, "Salmon season off to slow start, but there are signs of hope," 31 July 2017 Because skunk spray is an oil and Dawn removes oil from animals so well, Dawn is a good tool in your arsenal of pet de-skunking. 5. Emily Main, Fox News, "7 summer pet problems solved," 11 July 2017 Jeff Alworth, the author of The Beer Bible, says that sun and even artificial light will skunk a beer. Danielle Tullo, Cosmopolitan, "13 Ways You're Drinking Wrong," 24 Nov. 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'skunk.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of skunk

Noun

1634, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1843, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for skunk

Noun

earlier squuncke, from a Massachusett reflex of Algonquian *šeka·kwa, from šek- urinate + -a·kw fox, fox-like animal

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about skunk

Dictionary Entries near skunk

skull-pan

skull session

skun

skunk

Skunk

skunk bear

skunkbill

Phrases Related to skunk

(as) drunk as a skunk

Statistics for skunk

Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for skunk

The first known use of skunk was in 1634

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for skunk

skunk

noun

English Language Learners Definition of skunk

: a small black-and-white North American animal that produces a very strong and unpleasant smell when it is frightened or in danger

: a very bad or unpleasant person

skunk

noun
\ˈskəŋk \

Kids Definition of skunk

: a North American animal related to the weasels that has coarse black-and-white fur and can squirt out a fluid with a very unpleasant smell

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on skunk

What made you want to look up skunk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

one that holds something together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!