Definition of skunk in English:


Line breaks: skunk
Pronunciation: /skʌŋk


  • 1A cat-sized American mammal of the weasel family, with distinctive black-and-white striped fur. When threatened it squirts a fine spray of foul-smelling irritant liquid from its anal glands towards its attacker.
    • Mephitis and other genera, family Mustelidae: several species, in particular the striped skunk (M. mephitis)
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    • The weasel family includes such colourful characters as otters, wolverines, skunks, minks and badgers.
    • All kinds of critters like to dine on poultry, including raccoons, skunks, opossums, weasels, foxes, coyotes, dogs and feral cats.
    • The spray from a skunk will not cause permanent blindness.
  • 1.1 [mass noun] The fur of the skunk.
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    • After purchasing a cap made of skunk fur and unable to hold any more purchases, he found himself back at the kissing booth.
  • 1.2 informal A contemptible person: he’d run up a massive phone bill and hadn’t paid—the skunk
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    • I can't believe that stinky skunk hung up on me!
    • Some talk as if you were the skunk at the garden party.
    • He's a wily, nefarious skunk, is what he is, gang.
  • 2 informal short for skunkweed.
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    • They introduced a new kind of cannabis class A skunk.
    • After their arrest eight days later, they said they had taken cocaine, cannabis skunk and alcohol before the robbery.
    • I smoke high quality hybrid cannabis like skunk, northern lights and purple haze.


[with object] North American informal Back to top  
  • 1Defeat (someone) overwhelmingly in a game or contest, especially by preventing them from scoring at all: I knew he was a good fisherman, but I didn’t expect him to skunk you
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    • After that, we went to play a round of pool so that I could redeem myself, and we both thought for a bit that I was going to skunk him.
    • Been skunked a few times this year, even though you used your favorite rod, went to your super-secret spot and wore your lucky underwear?
    • If weather skunked our 14-day road trip, we would at least hit the most spectacular ski area in Canada.
  • 2 dated Fail to pay (a bill or creditor): he made a practice of skunking hotels


mid 17th century: from Abnaki segankw; variants occur in many other American Indian dialects.

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