\ 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

Toxic algae often stink, sometimes producing a downright nauseating smell, yet animals may be attracted to the smell and taste of them, according to the EPA. Jeff Forward, Houston Chronicle, "Woodlands officials: No blue-green algae in township ponds, lakes," 15 Aug. 2019 Toxic algae often stink, sometimes producing a downright nauseating smell, yet animals may be attracted to the smell and taste of them, according to the EPA. Susan Scutti, CNN, "How to spot the toxic algae that's killing dogs in the Southeast," 12 Aug. 2019 Punch turns his stick into a cricket bat and swats the stinking brimstone back at the Devil. Robert Coover, The New Yorker, "Citizen Punch," 18 July 2019 Today’s lessons involve monarch butterflies, mosquito eradication and (bleah) stink bugs. Los Angeles Times, "Pollinators & predators in your garden: How to save one, kill the other," 17 July 2019 While harvesting tomatoes typically extends into July, high temperatures, diseases and insect problems (like stink bugs) often reduce the quality of tomatoes harvested then. Dan Gill,, "Protect tomatoes from these diseases and pests," 13 Apr. 2019 What really stinks about the job, though, is the location. Eun-young Jeong, WSJ, "Want to Oversee the World’s Third-Largest Pension Fund? There’s Just One Catch," 11 Sep. 2018 Threw a deep ball that was a bad idea executed poorly, should’ve been picked, but was dropped because the Jags still stunk back then. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Bill Self going hard, Clark Hunt bad at PR, Andy Reid learning (?), baseball free agents, and love advice," 6 Feb. 2018 Sommeliers cross-cutting between elegant Burgundies and stank pét-nats with the fluency of an old-school hip-hop DJ. Peter Meehan, Los Angeles Times, "A collection of Gold-isms: soft-porn videocassettes, Claes Oldenburg and Metallica," 18 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Fans positioned at the front and back of the store circulated the stink of spoiled food Monday, sending puffs of hot air up and down aisles jammed with merchandise. Robert Anglen, azcentral, "Phoenix Family Dollar store without air conditioning for weeks as temps eclipse 110," 17 July 2019 Buy Now: $2.50, Gold Bond Ultimate Skin Therapy Cream with Aloe This bargain brand soaks into your skin immediately with nearly zero oily residue, plus it’s fragrance-free so your scent-sensitive seat mate won’t give you the stink-eye. Rachel Tepper Paley, Condé Nast Traveler, "Everything You Need to Make Your Own Business-Class Worthy Dopp Kit," 20 June 2019 For example, females of some species of stink bug nestle a fecal pellet near freshly laid eggs to serve as the larvae’s first meal, thereby inoculating them with their mother’s gut microbiome. Quanta Magazine, "Should Evolution Treat Our Microbes as Part of Us?," 20 Nov. 2018 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

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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Statistics for stink

Last Updated

20 Aug 2019

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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).


a haphazard or makeshift solution

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