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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from stink


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for stink

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of stink in a Sentence

Verb The food is good at that restaurant, but the service stinks. Having a root canal stinks. Noun People raised a stink about the new law. He kicked up a stink about the way he'd been treated.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Sometimes the vagaries of this sport can really stink and, for Taylor, this was one of those times. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, 16 Oct. 2021 The Packers are rolling again, the Rams are flying high, and the Jets and Lions stink as usual., 9 Oct. 2021 The all-white Alabama Supreme Court on Friday stepped in it so hard their Ferragamos are gonna stink for the rest of their terms. John Archibald |, al, 24 Sep. 2021 But the institution, as depicted by Preminger, still works, in its way: though the deals stink, they get cut. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 11 Aug. 2021 Toyota and Lexus had a problem with dashboards that would crack, melt, ooze and stink in extremely hot weather. Ray Magliozzi, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Sep. 2021 The defense continues to stink it up with a remade offensive line in front of Derek Carr struggling to come together. Vincent Frank, Forbes, 2 Sep. 2021 Rely on a Carolina rig baited with fresh shrimp — not pre-cooked — has been the key bait, but night crawlers, stink baits and cut shad are productive. cleveland, 1 July 2021 Amorphophallus titanum, also called corpse flowers, can grow up to 10 feet tall and stink like rotting flesh, though the smell is clearly not enough to keep crowds away. Christine Fernando, USA TODAY, 21 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun An outraged Jean repeatedly raises a stink to their lord about the fact that his former friend is getting all the things that were once rightfully his, which of course puts him in further disfavor with the sniveling Pierre. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, 16 Oct. 2021 That pungent smell is not the stink of U.S. Indian policy, nor can it be blamed on the bison, that’s the sulphur springs. Chadd Scott, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2021 Indeed, Lithuania, which does little trade with China, has caused enough of a stink that its fellow members in the European Union are expected to discuss the situation at a meeting next week. New York Times, 30 Sep. 2021 What’s up with the sheep standing outside their door, bleating angrily at them, giving them the livestock stink-eye? David Fear, Rolling Stone, 9 Oct. 2021 Dirty tricks kept him embroiled in a Russian hoax for two years and left the stink on him even when Robert Mueller could provide no evidence. WSJ, 1 Oct. 2021 The sewage stink had been a subject of complaints for more than three years. Jesse Leavenworth,, 17 Sep. 2021 The war on terror, previously tainted with the stink of illegality, had been cleansed. Daniel Bessner, The New Republic, 8 Sep. 2021 Changing the cowboy hero’s name is within the Overwatch team’s power, and it’s one thing those developers can do to rinse the stink of the scandal away from the game. Kris Holt, Forbes, 30 Aug. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About stink

Time Traveler for stink

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near stink




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for stink

Last Updated

23 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stink.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on stink

Nglish: Translation of stink for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stink for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!