verb (1)
\ ˈspaŋk How to pronounce spank (audio) \
spanked; spanking; spanks

Definition of spank

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

: to strike especially on the buttocks with the open hand


plural spanks

Definition of spank (Entry 2 of 3)

: an act of spanking : a sharp slap or blow to the buttocks usually with the palm of the hand A variety of approaches have been tried for dealing with this problem, ranging from gently holding the child in the chair to a quick spank, but it is not yet clear which of these approaches is most effective …— David A. Lieberman


verb (2)
spanked; spanking; spanks

Definition of spank (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to move quickly, dashingly, or spiritedly spanking along in his new car

Examples of spank in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Oregon looks like one of the best teams in the country while spanking the Buffaloes. oregonlive, "Pac-12 parity? Oregon, Utah and Washington separate themselves at the top: Issues & Answers," 13 Oct. 2019 His grandmother tried spanking him, then cajoling him with toys. Fatima Faizi, New York Times, "‘It’s Like a Nightmare’: For Bombing Survivors, Anguish That Won’t Stop," 6 Aug. 2019 Chugiak spanked two-time defending state champions Juneau 13-5 Saturday in winners-bracket action the state tournament at Mulcahy Stadium. Anchorage Daily News, "Chugiak sends defending champion Juneau to losers bracket in Legion state baseball tourney," 28 July 2019 Subs: Elano, Dietmar Hamann, Nery Castillo Remember when Manchester City got absolutely spanked 8-1 on the final day of the 2007/08 Premier League season?, "5 of Manchester City's Scariest Lineups (for Their Own Fans) of Recent Times This Halloween," 31 Oct. 2019 The Rams spanked the Cardinals – again – on Sunday, 34-7, at State Farm Stadium. Kent Somers, azcentral, "Vance Joseph, Cardinals defense can't blame performance against Rams on just a bad day," 1 Dec. 2019 The 2017 Red Sox were gently spanked (fines were levied) by commissioner Rob Manfred when they got caught stealing signs with Fitbits., "■ Are sports fans bothered when their teams are caught cheating?," 16 Nov. 2019 Galison also admitted to spanking the boy three to four times on his bare buttocks, leaving a red mark. Mike Cruz, azcentral, "MCSO: Sun City West man admits child abuse during test for employment as deputy sheriff," 7 Nov. 2019 Upon noticing bruises on Abigail's back and stomach, investigators interviewed the other Hart kids, who said they were often grounded, spanked, or sent to their beds without food. Lauren Smiley, Glamour, "Two White Moms. Six Black Kids. One Unthinkable Tragedy. A Look Inside the ‘Perfect’ Hart Family," 6 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spank.' 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 spank

Verb (1)

circa 1712, in the meaning defined above


circa 1785, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

1788, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for spank

Verb (1)


Verb (2)

back-formation from spanking

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Time Traveler for spank

Time Traveler

The first known use of spank was circa 1712

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Statistics for spank

Last Updated

20 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spank.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for spank


\ ˈspaŋk How to pronounce spank (audio) \
spanked; spanking

Kids Definition of spank

: to strike on the buttocks with the open hand

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More from Merriam-Webster on spank

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spank

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spank

Spanish Central: Translation of spank

Nglish: Translation of spank for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spank for Arabic Speakers

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