stink·​er ˈstiŋ-kər How to pronounce stinker (audio)
: an offensive or contemptible person
: one that stinks
: something of very poor quality
also : dud sense 2a
the movie is a stinker
: any of several large petrels that have an offensive odor
slang : something extremely difficult
the examination was a real stinker

Examples of stinker in a Sentence

He is a dirty little stinker. a real stinker of a performance
Recent Examples on the Web Here the list of all 15 MLB teams — again, over the past 78 seasons — that have been outscored by that many runs through nine games (and yes, there are a couple of other Tigers stinkers on there): 15. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, 10 Apr. 2023 The New York Mets have been baseball’s stinker, a team slated to spend nearly $500 million on payroll yet floundering at 42-48, equally likely to dismantle the roster than enhance it. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 11 July 2023 The Celtics, the bookies’ favorites, made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, and stormed back from being down three games to none, only to lose a Game 7 at the Garden in ignominious fashion, turning in a real stinker. Globe Columnist,, 13 June 2023 But that pretty arrangement might turn into a real stinker. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, 10 May 2023 Since losing Joe Pavelski in Game 1 and falling in overtime, the Stars have flexed superiority and outscored the Wild 15-10 despite a stinker 5-1 Game 3 loss in St. Paul. Brad Townsend, Dallas News, 27 Apr. 2023 This defensive stinker under head coach Brandon Staley was an organizational failure that further explained why the Chargers will go a 12th consecutive season — and ninth under top football operations executives Tom Telesco and John Spanos — without winning the four-team AFC West race. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Dec. 2021 Garoppolo, less than a month removed from a howling chorus of calls for his benching, has been among the NFL’s best QBs since his worst moment of 2021, a two-interception stinker against Indianapolis that included a season-worst passer rating (60.9). Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, 19 Nov. 2021 Only one of the losses was a stinker, a 4-0 setback at Ohio State on Jan. 14. Mark Stewart, Journal Sentinel, 17 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stinker.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1602, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of stinker was in 1602

Dictionary Entries Near stinker

Cite this Entry

“Stinker.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

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