\ ˈspəŋ-kē How to pronounce spunky (audio) \
spunkier; spunkiest

Definition of spunky

: full of spunk : spirited

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Other Words from spunky

spunkily \ ˈspəŋ-​kə-​lē How to pronounce spunkily (audio) \ adverb
spunkiness \ ˈspəŋ-​kē-​nəs How to pronounce spunkiness (audio) \ noun

Examples of spunky in a Sentence

a spunky determination to make the best of a bad situation

Recent Examples on the Web

The Big Three of men’s tennis had dwindled to the Lone One before Rafael Nadal took to the court Wednesday night for his quarterfinal against spunky but undersized 5-foot-7 Diego Schwartzman. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Rafael Nadal rises to challenge to reach U.S. Open semifinals," 4 Sep. 2019 More than 40 years after the petite, spunky 16-year-old girl from Anchorage was found dead near a railroad ditch, an Oregon man has been charged in the murder of Shelley Connolly. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Oregon man arrested for teen’s murder in 41-year-old Anchorage cold case," 4 Sep. 2019 The offense was stymied by Trent Thornton, a spunky rookie starter with an ERA approaching six. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros take down Blue Jays in series opener," 30 Aug. 2019 Dia is a spunky Labrador retriever trained to track down a yellow-flowered shrub that’s taking root in New York state parks. Washington Post, "Wags and weeds: Invasive plants meet match in detection dogs," 24 Aug. 2019 She was described as spunky, with a mind of her own. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "The oldest living western lowland gorilla in a zoo has died at 63," 26 July 2019 But the carefree Nai Nai remains as spunky as ever, just a bit winded, even though her children and grandchildren look positively stricken at seemingly every last hug and bite of meat pie. Katie Walsh, Twin Cities, "‘The Farewell’ dives into big family traditions, truths and a ‘good lie’," 18 July 2019 That was the spry and spunky Ebel the Angels outfielders remembered from their years with him, an aggressor always stepping on the pedal. Los Angeles Times, "Angels make clutch throws at the plate to hold off Dodgers," 23 July 2019 This lively, spunky little cat lived a long life with us in the company of two dogs. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "San Jose cat saves woman from a possible drug addiction," 19 July 2019

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

1786, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near spunky

spun hay




spun rayon

spun silk

spun sugar

Statistics for spunky

Last Updated

8 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spunky

The first known use of spunky was in 1786

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More Definitions for spunky



English Language Learners Definition of spunky

informal : full of spirit, courage, and determination


\ ˈspəŋ-kē How to pronounce spunky (audio) \
spunkier; spunkiest

Kids Definition of spunky

: full of spirit and courage

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More from Merriam-Webster on spunky

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spunky

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spunky

Spanish Central: Translation of spunky

Nglish: Translation of spunky for Spanish Speakers

Comments on spunky

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


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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