Definition of stink in English:

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Pronunciation: /stiNGk/

verb (past stank /staNGk/ or stunk /stəNGk/; past participle stunk)

[no object]
1Have a strong unpleasant smell: the place stank like a sewer his breath stank of drink
More example sentences
  • What a sad, sad sight to see him there in his white apron, stinking from the smell of salami.
  • My room stank from the smell of tar today, thanks to the re-paving of the road outside my courtyard.
  • To explore the hole you needed a very long ladder and a strong constitution: it stank and was crawling with rats.
1.1 [with object] (stink a place up) Fill a place with a strong unpleasant smell: I hope they are not going to stink up the house with curry
More example sentences
  • Cats do not harm the structure of the house but boy they can sure stink a place up!
  • You don't even have to get very close to one of these houses to smell the odor stinking up the whole area up to high heaven.
  • Strongly aromatic foods like the Korean dish kimchi can really stink up a cabin, she says.
2 informal Be very unpleasant, contemptible, or scandalous: the industry’s reputation stinks
More example sentences
  • ‘I caught the first fifteen minutes of Absolute Power and thought it stunk, but I wouldn't want to clog this thread up with a post about why,’ he said in the Extras thread.
  • ‘I'd rather you told me I stunk,’ I said, ‘than tell me I lost the job because of my race.’
  • The success of Angela's Ashes spawned a spate of memoirs-by-nobody-in-particular, most of which, frankly, stunk.
be very unpleasant, be abhorrent, be despicable, be contemptible, be disgusting, be vile, be foul
informal suck
2.1 (stink of) Be highly suggestive of (something regarded with disapproval): the whole affair stinks of a setup
More example sentences
  • He was the front runner, and the whole affair stank of the worst kind of partisan hackery.
  • The whole thing stank of a setup and police impropriety.
  • The whole Diana story stinks of lies and deception.
smack, reek, give the impression, have all the hallmarks;
strongly suggest
2.2 (stink of) Have or appear to have a scandalously large amount of (something, especially money): the whole place was luxurious and stank of money
More example sentences
  • The place still stinks of money - and not just the old double-barrelled wealth traditionally associated with the club.
  • ‘A Day Like Today’ signals the fact his follow up reeks with polish and immaculate production values, stinking of money and thoughtfulness in all the right places.
  • The office carried the stink of money and power.


[in singular]
1A strong unpleasant smell; a stench: the stink of the place hit me as I went in
More example sentences
  • In Warheads, while demonstrating irritant-gas, a mercenary trainer tells the film team: ‘The stink is so strong, you'll get a whiff of it too’.
  • At times you can smell the stink, hear the rats running in his shack, and feel the numbing cold.
  • Even if the gas wasn't poisonous, the stink was still unpleasant.
stench, reek, fetor, foul/bad smell
informal funk
literary miasma
2 informal A commotion or fuss: no matter how nice the restaurant is, wacko Meg has to make a big stink and embarrass the rest of us
More example sentences
  • York council's plan to change the rubbish collection from weekly to fortnightly has caused a right stink, as one whiff of our letters pages confirms.
  • The stink travelled with them, like body odour.
  • He is out of office because he's raising a stink,’ says a Taradale resident.


like stink

informal, chiefly British Extremely hard or intensely: she’s working like stink to get everything ready
More example sentences
  • You can do that - but even those people work like stink,’ she says.
  • So - while keeping my legs crossed and writing like stink - I have to assume that we sheilas are the new economic magic bullet.
  • They have ended up separating, hating each other's guts, taking law suits out against each other, and fighting like stink over the property.


Old English stincan; related to Dutch and German stinken, also to stench.

  • Old English stincan ‘stink and its close relative stenc ‘smell’ source of stench both go back to a common Germanic root.

Words that rhyme with stink

bethink, blink, brink, cinque, clink, dink, drink, fink, Frink, gink, ink, interlink, jink, kink, link, mink, pink, plink, prink, rink, shrink, sink, skink, slink, sync, think, wink, zinc

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: stink

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