Definition of skunk in English:

skunk

Syllabification: skunk
Pronunciation: /skəNGk
 
/

noun

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 toward its attacker.
  • Mephitis and other genera, family Mustelidae: several species, in particular the striped skunk (M. mephitis)
More example sentences
  • 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.
1.1The fur of the skunk.
More example sentences
  • 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.
More example sentences
  • 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.

verb

[with object] North American informal Back to top  
1Defeat (someone) overwhelmingly in a game or contest, especially by preventing them from scoring at all.
More example sentences
  • 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).

Origin

mid 17th century: from Massachusett squunck; cognate forms occur in many other American Indian languages.

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