\ 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

Antonyms: Noun

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Falcons and Texans have something in common: Both stunk it up at home in Sunday losses. John Mcclain, Houston Chronicle, "Texans: Looking ahead to Falcons," 29 Sep. 2019 Fortunately, unlike assholes and opinions, mid-engine cars rarely stink. Eric Tingwall, Car and Driver, "Hyundai's Mid-Engine Sports Car Will Take on Supra and Nissan Z," 24 Apr. 2020 Their Snowcrest shirt is made from the happiest of sheep, their merino wool naturally stink-proof and forgiving. Jasmin Perez, Sunset Magazine, "Best of the West: From CBD Gumdrops to Garden Supplies, These Are the Brands We Support," 13 Apr. 2020 In a note of silliness, the magic fabric also stinks of body odor. Natalia Winkelman, New York Times, "‘The Main Event’ Review: A Kid Pro Wrestler, in a Magic Mask," 10 Apr. 2020 No matter how the situation plays out that stink eye of Mary Joe isn’t going to kill you, and giving people the benefit of the doubt will keep us sane and safe, Driskell said. Lily Jackson |, al, "On being Southern and Socially Distanced: How to get someone away from you," 8 Apr. 2020 The noise is thunderous, and the place stinks, too. Mary Norris, New York Times, "Utility Worker No. 6691 on Life Inside a Steel Mill," 3 Mar. 2020 That CenturyLink stink The 49ers have lost their last eight games at Seattle’s Century Link Field. Eric Branch,, "49ers have prime opportunity to end their suffering in Seattle," 26 Dec. 2019 How come the Pittsburgh Steelers can lose Ben Roethlisberger in Week 2 and still not stink as bad as the Lions? Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions have lost six of seven games, and that's on Bob Quinn," 17 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And all that postnasal drip can cause a stink by ending up stuck on the back of your tongue, which is incredibly hard to reach with a toothbrush. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Bad breath behind that coronavirus mask? 10 reasons -- and remedies -- for your halitosis," 5 May 2020 The primary culprits are bacteria, sweat and body oils, which build up inside synthetic fabrics and cause a literal stink. Wendy Rose Gould, NBC News, "How to get the smell out of gym clothes," 11 Sep. 2019 Not a dumb guy, Orton made enough stink that the Cowboys released him rather than put up with all the noise. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, "Cowboys signing Andy Dalton may represent a shift in concept for Jerry Jones on backup QBs," 3 May 2020 Using a standard screwdriver, pry open the cover gently or the oil will gush out and cover you in that unholy stink. Ben Wojdyla, Popular Mechanics, "How to Care for Your Car's Differential," 18 Apr. 2020 Wallace went down the half-rotten stairs and came closer to the dense algal stink of the lake. New York Times, "‘Real Life,’ by Brandon Taylor: An Excerpt," 18 Feb. 2020 Staying up late trying to purge the stink of diesel that clung to their uniforms, so the clothes could be returned to grieving families. Megan Rose, ProPublica, "Warship Accidents Left Sailors Traumatized. The Navy Struggled to Treat Them.," 12 Feb. 2020 As a carcass decomposes, the bacteria in the body itself runs rampant, producing its signature stink and bastardizing the soil’s microbiome. Matt Simon, Wired, "The Macabre Science of Animal Mass Die-Offs," 21 Jan. 2020 The stink over the smell is far from the first example of the odiferous product drawing ire as marijuana has gained a legal foothold in Oregon over the past 20 years. Aimee Green,, "Pearl District pot shop says it's not smelly, asks judge for help to stay put," 6 Apr. 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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for stink

Last Updated

13 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stink.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for stink


How to pronounce stink (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stink

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stink

Spanish Central: Translation of stink

Nglish: Translation of stink for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stink for Arabic Speakers

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