Definition of skunkworks in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈskəNGkˌwərks/
(also skunk works)

plural noun

[usually treated as singular] US informal, trademark
An experimental laboratory or department of a company or institution, typically smaller than and independent of its main research division.
Example sentences
  • Now, thanks to a combination of a skunkworks project within Google, and an enterprising Java developer, Google has done much to close the gap.
  • Our multimedia skunkworks has experimented with file recovery programs that restore deleted images on removable media.
  • Another drawback of the skunkworks approach is that it may create a climate of us and them.


1970s (originally used in reference to the research laboratories of the aerospace company Lockheed Martin): allegedly from an association with the Skonk Works, an illegal still in the 'Li'l Abner' comic strip.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: skunk·works

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