stink·​er | \ ˈstiŋ-kər How to pronounce stinker (audio) \

Definition of stinker

1a : an offensive or contemptible person
b : one that stinks
c : something of very poor quality also : dud sense 2a the movie is a stinker
2 : any of several large petrels that have an offensive odor
3 slang : something extremely difficult the examination was a real stinker

Synonyms for stinker


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of stinker in a Sentence

He is a dirty little stinker. a real stinker of a performance
Recent Examples on the Web The colt opened his 3-year-old campaign with a stinker – running seventh at the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes on Feb. 5. Mark Inabinett |, al, 7 May 2022 But life’s a stinker, and cancer eventually canceled his magic touch. Longreads, 20 Apr. 2022 But instead of building upon their showing at the Nets, the Blazers followed up with a complete stinker at the Pacers, a franchise equally interested in losing ballgames in order to secure a higher draft pick. oregonlive, 20 Mar. 2022 Better than last year — an easy target — and maybe the best in the last 10 years, but still a stinker. Carolyn Giardina, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 Mar. 2022 But that doesn’t mean even one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood is immune from the odd stinker or two. Andy Meek, BGR, 22 Feb. 2022 The pull to correct the wrongs of a real stinker of a series finale caused showrunner Clyde Phillips to bring Dexter back to life. Kelly Mcclure, Vulture, 7 Nov. 2021 That happens when a team is 10-3 and proceeds to lose back-to-back games, including a stinker on the road to a club that only had one win. Bob Mcmanaman, The Arizona Republic, 22 Dec. 2021 Then, of course, that little stinker was not going to be caged. Arkansas Online, 27 Nov. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stinker.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of stinker

1602, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Learn More About stinker

Time Traveler for stinker

Time Traveler

The first known use of stinker was in 1602

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near stinker



stink eye

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for stinker

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Stinker.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on stinker

Nglish: Translation of stinker for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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