1 of 2


spank·​ing ˈspaŋ-kiŋ How to pronounce spanking (audio)
: remarkable of its kind
: being fresh and strong : brisk


2 of 2


: very
a spanking clean floor
spanking new

Examples of spanking in a Sentence

Adjective a spanking and speedy little horse Adverb He keeps his apartment spanking clean. the bathroom tiles were spanking white when she finished cleaning them
Recent Examples on the Web
But the 98-room hotel — occupying floors 40 to 45 of a spanking new mixed-use tower above Tokyo Station in the salary-man district of Chiyoda — is also a first for the brand. Christopher Cameron, Robb Report, 16 May 2023 My Cat looks tiny and out-of-place among the spanking new hot rods parked out front. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, 26 Mar. 2023 After the spanking incident, Blount players posted a video in support of Harris. Ben Thomas |, al, 8 Jan. 2023 These are hard-to-excuse deficiencies in a spanking-new design, but this Saab is hardly a loser. Don Schroeder, Car and Driver, 3 Jan. 2023 At the spanking-new Aman, well-heeled New Yorkers are finally returning to the illustrious Crown Building. Tony Perrottet, Condé Nast Traveler, 6 Dec. 2022 Whether the ideas of Pielke etc are old or spanking brand new is beside the point. Keith Kloor, Discover Magazine, 16 Oct. 2010 On today's 5 Things podcast, reporter Sarah Elbeshbishi explains how spanking at school is still legal in over a dozen states. Nicole Fallert, USA TODAY, 1 Sep. 2022 The deal to send these elephants to the Middle East had begun a year earlier, when Dubai Safari Park, a spanking-new facility in the desert, dispatched middlemen to Laos to locate handlers, known as mahouts, willing to sell. Paul Kvinta, Outside Online, 12 Nov. 2019
There was Vice President Biden's inaugural bromance selfie with President Obama on his brand spanking new Instagram account. Christina Capatides, CBS News, 11 May 2018 Is this just about opportunistic politicians dipping into state coffers so they can be photographed cutting the ribbon at a spanking new factory? New York Times, 8 May 2018 Their long-somnolent town is suddenly encountering a group of international urbanites with gleamingly expensive and outlandishly new equipment: sophisticated farm machinery, spanking new mobile homes, Rolls Royces. Wendla McGovern, The New Republic, 12 Apr. 2018 See More

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

Word History



origin unknown

First Known Use


circa 1666, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1787, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of spanking was circa 1666

Dictionary Entries Near spanking

Cite this Entry

“Spanking.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
spank·​ing ˈspaŋ-kiŋ How to pronounce spanking (audio)
: brisk sense 1, lively
a spanking breeze


2 of 2 adverb
: very entry 2 sense 2
a spanking clean floor
spanking new

More from Merriam-Webster on spanking

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