Definition of dank in US English:



  • Disagreeably damp, musty, and typically cold.

    ‘huge dank caverns’
    • ‘The dank smell of sterile cleaning products lay heavily upon her nostrils as she tried to recognize just where she was.’
    • ‘At the bottom of the hill, there is a dark, dank train station in a cutting.’
    • ‘He reached the bottom and choked on the dank musty smell that greeted him.’
    • ‘The cellar, which was a dank and dark part of the house, housed several things, including all the things that would need ice or coldness to keep good.’
    • ‘The selling agent admits she hasn't even set foot in the dark, dank basement, and the rest of the accommodation is almost as gloomy.’
    • ‘I tear past him when the door swings open, suddenly high by the scent of dank, musty, old house.’
    • ‘Is Anne a York girl who is missing the idea of a traditional British Christmas in these dark, dank December days?’
    • ‘He had a dank odor about him like the smell of a wild animal's den.’
    • ‘They were in the belly of the ship and they were dank and crowded and smelled to high heavens of unwashed bodies and human waste.’
    • ‘It led him down a long, narrow flight of stairs to a dark, dank basement.’
    • ‘She glanced at the dark and dank interior of the slightly musty establishment.’
    • ‘At the other end of the ten-room block, a couple in their fifties live in a dark, dank room.’
    • ‘In a dark dank mouldy bathroom, you can use all the anti-fungal sprays you like and the mould will die - for a time, but it always comes back!’
    • ‘Opposite of where she stood, bright sunlight poured into the dank cavern.’
    • ‘We see him living in his dank, smelly, garbage-infested cave high on Mt. Crumpit.’
    • ‘The moist eastern slopes of the Andes tumble to dank, humid, jungle lowlands whose rivers are the highways for transportation.’
    • ‘It was dark and dank and, especially late at night, dangerous.’
    • ‘Byron paced back and forth in the dark, dank room of the abandoned building.’
    • ‘Clever cooks know that it's best to keep onions, spuds and such out of the confines of a dark and dank closet.’
    • ‘She inhaled deeply, enjoying the wet, dank smell outside compared to the strange smell inside.’
    • ‘The night was dark and dank, the streets of Rome covered in a thick fog.’
    • ‘He pulled himself along through the dank, dark sewers until he came to an opening.’
    • ‘The room, true to its name, resembled a cavern with its dank cement walls.’
    • ‘Inside are two dark and dank rooms that have been completely gutted.’
    • ‘I wrinkle my nose at the dank, putrid smell that is polluting the room.’
    • ‘As she made her perilous way down the dark and dank tunnel, she wondered what great adventures lay before her.’
    • ‘Down below, two men lit a few candles and the prisoners' hearts sank as they saw, either side of them, windowless, dark, dank cells.’
    • ‘It smelt dank and musty, like a cave which the sea entered regularly.’
    • ‘Lynx could feel a presence getting stronger and stronger, but no warmth was carried from it on the breeze, just a musty stench like dank seaweed and carcasses.’
    • ‘It was a dank, cold room, not particularly large, and it smelled stale and old.’
    • ‘From there he expertly maneuvered through the dark dank chambers of the house and entered the kitchen.’
    • ‘A smell of dampness struck me as I stepped into a narrow entrance hall, cold and dank.’
    • ‘A slightly dank scent filled my nose, the scent of our musty room in the morning, and I coughed quietly.’
    • ‘Yes, the cell she was in was dank and smelly but it wasn't too cold.’
    • ‘As he opened the door, a dank musky air hit them full force, and both of them reeled back visibly from the smell and sight of the room.’
    damp, musty, chilly, clammy, wet, moist, unaired, moisture-laden, humid
    View synonyms


Middle English: probably of Scandinavian origin and related to Swedish dank ‘marshy spot’.