skunk

noun
\ ˈskəŋk How to pronounce skunk (audio) \
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

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Synonyms for skunk

Synonyms: Noun

bastard, beast, bleeder [British], blighter [chiefly British], boor, bounder, bugger, buzzard, cad, chuff, churl, clown, creep, cretin, crud [slang], crumb [slang], cur, dirtbag [slang], dog, fink, heel, hound, jerk, joker, louse, lout, pill, rat, rat fink, reptile, rotter, schmuck [slang], scum, scumbag [slang], scuzzball [slang], sleaze, sleazebag [slang], sleazeball [slang], slime, slimeball [slang], slob, snake, so-and-so, sod [chiefly British], stinkard, stinker, swine, toad, varmint, vermin

Synonyms: Verb

annihilate, blow away, bomb, bury, clobber, cream, drub, dust, flatten, paste, rout, shellac, skin, smoke [slang], smother, snow under, thrash, trim, tromp, trounce, wallop, wax [slang], whip, whomp, whop (or whap), whup

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Bats and skunks are the most common carriers of the disease in Michigan. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan health officials see uptick in bats with rabies," 3 July 2018 The Animal Rescue League of Boston got a call last week about a skunk wearing strange headgear. Encasing its neck, like some sort of plastic Victorian collar, was the kind of lid that’s usually found atop a slushy frozen beverage. Karin Brulliard, Washington Post, "Animals keep getting their heads stuck in our trash," 20 Apr. 2018 Squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, skunks, deer, many species of birds and more all breed and raise their young weeks prior to the solstice. Dave Epstein, BostonGlobe.com, "It’s official: Summer has begun," 21 June 2018 Except the cop assumed that the raven was Katie and the skunk was Joey. Brett Martin, Outside Online, "Katie Lee, Our Lady of Glen Canyon," 24 May 2018 Rescuers were able to toss a blanket over the animal and cut off its trap — without getting sprayed, luckily — and send the skunk to freedom, league spokesman Mike DeFina said. Karin Brulliard, Washington Post, "Animals keep getting their heads stuck in our trash," 20 Apr. 2018 Distemper can affect a number of animals that fall under the canine genus, such as skunks, ferrets, bears, and yes, raccoons. Brandon Patterson, Detroit Free Press, "'Zombie-like' raccoons are terrifying Ohio residents," 5 Apr. 2018 The rabies virus is typically transmitted by a bite from a wild infected animal, such as a bat, raccoon, skunk or fox, according to KidsHealth. Alexandria Hein, Fox News, "Georgia boy, 4, treated for rabies after mom shoots raccoon dead in porch attack," 19 Sep. 2018 The skunk continued down the property line and disappeared into the other backyards. Frank Abderholden, Lake County News-Sun, "On-deck observations from the backyard," 3 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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near skunk

skull-pan

skull session

skun

skunk

Skunk

skunk bear

skunkbill

Statistics for skunk

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for skunk

The first known use of skunk was in 1634

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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
US, informal : a very bad or unpleasant person

skunk

noun
\ ˈskəŋk How to pronounce skunk (audio) \

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on skunk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with skunk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for skunk

Spanish Central: Translation of skunk

Nglish: Translation of skunk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of skunk for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about skunk

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