: unpleasantly moist or wet
a dank basement
dankly adverb
dankness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for dank

wet, damp, dank, moist, humid mean covered or more or less soaked with liquid.

wet usually implies saturation but may suggest a covering of a surface with water or something (such as paint) not yet dry.

slipped on the wet pavement

damp implies a slight or moderate absorption and often connotes an unpleasant degree of moisture.

clothes will mildew if stored in a damp place

dank implies a more distinctly disagreeable or unwholesome dampness.

a prisoner in a cold, dank cell

moist applies to what is slightly damp or not felt as dry.

treat the injury with moist heat

humid applies to the presence of much water vapor in the air.

a hot, humid climate

Examples of dank in a Sentence

vegetables tended to go bad quickly in the dank cellar
Recent Examples on the Web On the outskirts of Avdiivka, a unit from the 59th brigade had been at the same artillery position for 12 days straight, living in a dank underground trench overrun with mice. Serhii Korolchuk, Washington Post, 28 Oct. 2023 Here’s the dank twist: Whenever musicians try to spritz the former without fully reckoning with the latter, their perfume only makes the smog funkier and more sizable. Chris Richards, Washington Post, 26 Sep. 2023 The National Hurricane Center is monitoring the subtropical system, which will bring plentiful rainfall, rough surf, strong gusty winds and coastal flooding, affecting the majority of major East Coast cities and bringing a dreary, dank weekend. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, 21 Sep. 2023 Though many basements can be dark, dank afterthoughts, the basement excavation allowed the owners to transform the lower level into the wellness retreat of their dreams, complete with a large gym, dual steam baths, and a sauna room. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 20 Sep. 2023 Its impressive sealed system and HEPA filter capture and retain even the tiniest particles and an odor-neutralizing capsule limits dank and dusty odors inside the vacuum. Carolyn Forté, Good Housekeeping, 28 Aug. 2023 Just don’t become a streak-Gollum like me, slavering miserably and alone over your treasure in a dank mental cave. John Hodgman, New York Times, 27 July 2023 All of this is performed in a 135,000-square-foot factory in the dankest recesses of Lima, Ohio, by S&S Superior, a company that has been building hearses for 71 years. John Phillips, Car and Driver, 26 Aug. 2023 Behind the excitement of discovery, there is that terrible void again: all the records that have vanished or that, even more tantalizingly, are crumbling away in dank basements. Fintan O’Toole, The New York Review of Books, 20 July 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle English danke

First Known Use

1573, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dank was in 1573

Dictionary Entries Near dank

Cite this Entry

“Dank.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dank. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: unpleasantly moist or wet
dankly adverb
dankness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on dank

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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