\ ˈstiŋk How to pronounce stink (audio) \
stank\ ˈstaŋk How to pronounce stank (audio) \ or stunk\ ˈstəŋk How to pronounce stunk (audio) \; stunk; stinking

Definition of stink

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to emit a strong offensive odor stank of urine
2 : to be offensive the election stank of corruption also : to be in bad repute
3 : to possess something to an offensive degree stinking with wealth
4 : to be extremely bad or unpleasant the performance stank that news really stinks



Definition of stink (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a strong offensive odor : stench
2 : a public outcry against something : fuss made a big stink when asked to leave

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Other Words from stink


stinky \ ˈstiŋ-​kē How to pronounce stinky (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for stink

Synonyms: Verb


Synonyms: Noun

funk, reek, stench

Antonyms: Noun

aroma, fragrance, perfume

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Examples of stink in a Sentence


The food is good at that restaurant, but the service stinks. Having a root canal stinks.


People raised a stink about the new law. He kicked up a stink about the way he'd been treated.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The whole thing stinks of entrapment, though the curious question was how the Flynn defense team got the details. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "Checking Robert Mueller," 13 Dec. 2018 The bitter divorce battle between billionaire bond king Bill Gross and his ex-wife is beginning to stink — like vomit, flatulence and dead fish. Carleton English, Fox News, "Bill Gross made disputed home with ex-wife stink like vomit, dead fish with foul-smelling sprays: lawsuit," 18 June 2018 Any time a coach/manager says his team tried really hard, that team stinks. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc: Is who the Reds have now better than who they've dumped?," 8 May 2018 But on any kind of asphalt, the Multistrada S just stinking rips, especially in the hands of an expert. Dan Neil, WSJ, "2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260 S: The Bike for a Bucket-List Ride," 21 Nov. 2018 The red tide has made breathing difficult for people, scared away tourists, and strewn popular beaches with the stinking carcasses of fish and other sea creatures. Kate Furby, The Seattle Times, "Red tide algae’s deadly toll on sea life has triggered a state of emergency in Florida," 14 Aug. 2018 Many Liverpool fans remain unhappy, however: The whole thing stinks of a cover up., "Liverpool Fans React to PGMOL Statement Which Claims John Moss Was Correct to Award Spurs Penalty," 6 Feb. 2018 Their papers shed everywhere and peeling just one clove is enough to make my hands stink for the next 24 hours. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "How to Peel a Whole Head of Garlic in No Time," 9 Nov. 2018 The letter said the bathrooms stink, the dining area fails legal standards and uncollected garbage lies rotting around bins. Fox News, "The Latest: Greek officials: Migrant camp a health hazard," 10 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Ridge Merino Inversion Midweight Crew Merino Wool Base Layer ($65) Transition from a hike to a long car ride without the stink with this moisture-wicking 100 percent merino base layer. Janna Irons, Outside Online, "Essential Gear for Road-Trip Season," 23 Apr. 2018 This method may also cause a bit of a stink (seriously!); the microwave should only be used as a last resort. Amy Mitchell, Country Living, "How to Ripen an Avocado Fast," 3 May 2019 The iCloud web app stinks, and iCloud for Windows is far more complicated to use than other services. David Pierce, WSJ, "Cluttered Phone and Computer? Put Your Files in the Cloud," 9 Sep. 2018 In retrospect, the desire for anonymity had a stink about it. Alexander Huls, Popular Mechanics, "The Great Star Wars Heist," 7 Mar. 2019 Chumming activity will offer the best angling opportunities using a variety of stink baits. Tyler Mahoney Special To The Star, kansascity, "Fishing report: Catfish action picking up in Kansas, Missouri lakes," 11 July 2018 Although the long-term costs to the economy and taxpayers were relatively light, the stink of political favors for an antiquated industry didn’t sit well with voters. Jon Talton, The Seattle Times, "‘It’s the economy, stupid,’ and the bad luck of George H.W. Bush," 4 Dec. 2018 Republicans have not been making a big stink about Pruitt Trump is facing lots of pressure from Republicans on lots of different fronts. Amber Phillips, Washington Post, "Why does Scott Pruitt still have his job? 4 theories.," 6 June 2018 The couple wants to marry, but the vice president, who is depicted in the book as a green stink bug, forbids it. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: You’re Never Too Young to Take a Stand," 28 Dec. 2018

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stink


Middle English, from Old English stincan; akin to Old High German stinkan to emit a smell

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Time Traveler for stink

The first known use of stink was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for stink



English Language Learners Definition of stink

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to have a very bad smell
: to do something very poorly
: to be very low in quality



English Language Learners Definition of stink (Entry 2 of 2)

: a very bad smell
informal : a situation in which someone complains in a very angry and often public way


\ ˈstiŋk How to pronounce stink (audio) \
stank\ ˈstaŋk \ or stunk\ ˈstəŋk \; stunk; stinking

Kids Definition of stink

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to give off or cause to have a strong unpleasant smell The garbage stinks.
2 : to be very bad or unpleasant That news really stinks.



Kids Definition of stink (Entry 2 of 2)

: a strong unpleasant smell

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More from Merriam-Webster on stink

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stink

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stink

Spanish Central: Translation of stink

Nglish: Translation of stink for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stink for Arabic Speakers

Comments on stink

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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