Definition of stink in English:

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Pronunciation: /stɪŋk/

verb (past stank /staŋk/ or stunk /stʌŋk/; 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 somewhere out/up) informal Fill somewhere with a strong unpleasant smell: her perfume stank the place out
More example sentences
  • You had a fire in your garden that was stinking my house out.
  • The RSPCA have done their best for the poor chap, but things just aren't looking too good, and it appears we'll have a dead whale stinking the place up for the New Year.
  • Okay, so you could buy a mackerel for a £1 these days but who wants to stink the entire house out for a week?
2 informal Be very unpleasant, contemptible, or scandalous: he thinks the values of our society stink
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
North American informal suck
2.1 (stink of) Be highly suggestive of (something regarded with disapproval): the whole affair stinks of a set-up
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.
strongly suggest, have all the hallmarks of, smack of, give the impression of;
reek of, smell of
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, foul smell, bad smell, fetidness, effluvium, malodour, malodorousness, miasma
British informal pong, niff, hum
Scottish informal guff
British rhyming slang pen and ink
North American informal funk
rare fetor, mephitis, noisomeness
2 informal A row or fuss: a silly move now would kick up a stink we couldn’t handle
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.
fuss, commotion, rumpus, ruckus, trouble, outcry, uproar, brouhaha, furore
informal song and dance, to-do, carry-on, hoo-ha
British informal row, kerfuffle
North American informal foofaraw


West Indian
1Having a strong unpleasant smell: ‘What you doing with that stink dog?’
More example sentences
  • It follows a fleeing him like a stink cloud, misconstruing his running away as an opportunity to take more pictures and ask more questions.
  • Giant oil drum of sludge in a back closet next to the bathroom: someone bumped the lid off this with a bit of equipment and immediately vomited due to the stench that came out from the stink barrel.
  • I'm trying that right now, but I can't have this stink situation put a damper on my session situation.
2Contemptible; corrupt: the whole episode is so stink that the principal asked for an immediate transfer of the teacher
More example sentences
  • I can't really think of any, and if that's all there are, then, isn't that a stink reason to give your sovereignty away?


like stink

informal 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, of West Germanic origin; 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

Line breaks: stink

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