Main definitions of funk in US English:

: funk1funk2

funk1

noun

informal
  • 1North American in singular A state of depression.

    ‘I sat absorbed in my own blue funk’
    • ‘What's more, composure is dynamic throughout a season, so that players who start to slump will have a tough time getting out of their funk.’
    • ‘When Benard hits more to left field, you'll know he's out of his funk.’
    • ‘She brings him out of his funk, drags him out dancing, and gives him a new lease of life.’
    • ‘I thought I got depressed, but even in a depressed funk, my lowest grade would be at least a ten!’
    • ‘At the sound of his son's name, Andrew snapped out of his funk and slowly swung his other foot to the ground.’
    • ‘She quickly snapped out of her funk, and got a good look at the boy before her.’
    • ‘The messages helped snap Pottruck out of his funk.’
    • ‘But if savers and builders are sufficiently scared and sufficiently depressed, even big tax cuts may not be enough to bring them out of their funk.’
    • ‘I just can't seem to focus on things that might get me out of my funk - such as getting the remortgage underway and finalised.’
    • ‘The metallic scritch of a key in the lock jolted me out of my funk.’
    • ‘Back at Harlem hospital, Sugar was snapping out of her funk.’
    • ‘Meeting people like this is exciting and scary, but it might be just what you need to jolt yourself out of your funk.’
    • ‘Many people assume comfort foods are eaten when a person is in a funk, depressed, bored, or lonely.’
    • ‘It may only serve to get you out of your funk and into the gym - but hey, that's half the battle of any exercise program.’
    • ‘August historically is his best month, and he showed signs of snapping out of his funk before the break, hitting with authority and showing patience.’
    • ‘Nothing in particular happened to cheer me up - I just came out of my funk.’
    • ‘Our Prime Minister has come out of his funk, and has some real serious plans for this country.’
    • ‘Thorn almost thought that the fact that she was arguing with him was a good sign, meaning that she was, at least a little, out of her funk.’
    • ‘Gareth shook out of his funk from watching Jude sit down and automatically shook his hand.’
    • ‘That financial support, albeit brief, shook Shafer out of his funk.’
    depression
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1British A state of great fear or panic.
      ‘are you in a blue funk about running out of things to say?’
      • ‘Far from implementing smart strategies to fight terror, this administration has only succeeded in scaring the public and pushed the country into an uncharacteristic funk.’
      • ‘So when I was instructed to put my haggling skills to work and go in search of some bargains in York city centre I was in a blind funk.’
      • ‘I may even get better at answering mails straight away rather than letting them mount up until I drop into a blue funk about the backlog.’
      • ‘He lies in an existential funk trying to make sense of it all.’
      • ‘Job seekers anxious about seeing the freshest Craigslist posts can subscribe to a feed instead of hitting reload for hours in a paranoid funk.’
      • ‘A freak car accident leaves Marie-Josée Croze in an existential funk.’
      • ‘Sometimes it requires a crisis to sort out those fitted for leadership from their confreres inclined to dash around in a blind funk.’
      • ‘For example, I can say, Sushila has been in such a blue funk that she refuses to even step out of the house.’
      • ‘Who, or what, got you into the funk in the first place?’
      • ‘I like words and although I have no idea where it came from, ‘blue funk’ seems an apposite description of not only how I have felt but also how I have been.’
      • ‘I was asked the other day during an interview what I do personally when I get into a blue funk.’
      panic, state of fear, fluster
      View synonyms
  • 2British dated A coward.

verb

[with object]British
informal
  • Avoid (a task or thing) out of fear.

    ‘I could have seen him this morning but I funked it’
    • ‘It would have made clear that this administration had a sense of historic purpose and that it was not going to funk the most important single issue facing Britain in the new millennium.’
    • ‘By a donnish performance, more in the style of a school of philosophy than of an economics department, Letwin proved the case for tax cuts, then forged an intellectual alibi for funking its implementation.’
    • ‘It was interesting to see how Hollywood coped with this theme, and how director Sydney Pollack tiptoed towards reality but funked it in the end.’
    • ‘Astonishingly one of the judges, Tom Doorley, funked both drisheen and tripe - refusing to eat either.’
    • ‘Given the blather SFO dispenses about ‘modern’ and ‘contemporary’ solutions to the stodginess of opera, how disappointing is it when an apotheosis, written into the music, is funked by the production team?’
    • ‘But we have had many opportunities to display a more radical voice and we have funked them.’
    • ‘The chief executive and music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic funked a London trip ‘‘due to the international situation’.’
    • ‘I believe that we in western Europe have a historic choice in the next few years, and that we can be visionary, or we can funk it.’
    • ‘This legislative programme didn't just funk the big issues - hospital waiting times, proportional representation, class sizes and family law reform - it funked the little issues as well.’
    • ‘The decision by Labour to funk the presidential election underlines that party's frivolity.’
    • ‘Green spokesman Dan Boyle said the Government had funked unfair tax reliefs and failed to tackle the Savage 16 welfare cuts.’
    • ‘The attempt then to portray Al Gore, who rejected the subterfuge, as the one who was funking national debates was farcical.’
    • ‘The assembled leaders seem certain to funk both challenges.’
    • ‘Hugh has been through Alcoholics Anonymous and has funked it.’
    • ‘If he funks this one then his government will unravel and we will be back to John Major, the Exchange Rate Mechanism and Maastricht.’
    • ‘But, as Limerick City Council, Limerick County Council and countless others are allowed sink so low that they cannot even empty the bins, Leinster House funks the fundamental issue.’
    • ‘Because otherwise you would have funked it, you would have been seen to have been the person, the country, that precipitated it and then walked away from it.’
    avoid, evade, dodge, escape from, run away from, baulk at, flinch from
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 18th century (first recorded as Oxford University slang): perhaps from funk in the slang sense ‘tobacco smoke’, or from obsolete Flemish fonck ‘disturbance, agitation’.

Pronunciation

funk

/fəNGk//fəŋk/

Main definitions of funk in US English:

: funk1funk2

funk2

noun

  • 1A style of popular dance music of US black origin, based on elements of blues and soul and having a strong rhythm that typically accentuates the first beat in the bar.

    • ‘It combines elements of hip-hop, reggae, funk, punk rock and even traditional Irish folk music.’
    • ‘Many artists could list soul, funk, jazz, hip hop and r 'n' b as influences, but few could put such a personal and individual stamp on their sound.’
    • ‘They're pushing out rather typical rock music with hints of hip-hop and funk, elements that are too subtle to redefine the end result.’
    • ‘Ploughing a wide furrow, this record draws on a history of influences from hip hop, funk, soul, and big beat.’
    • ‘The North Queensland based group are a newly-formed but very professional outfit who fuse elements of funk and reggae with hip hop and groovy rhythms.’
    • ‘These guys are laying down a night of Afro-Latin jazz, funk and soul rhythms for the people, and you're invited!’
    • ‘The result is an effort that encompasses a multitude of styles, from funk and soul to stirring ballads constructed around strong melodies.’
    • ‘The rising star has been cooking up quite a storm of late with her laid-back jazz style and blend of funk, soul, hip-hop, Latin and deep house.’
    • ‘A sample of both albums, and soul, jazz, funk, and of course, blues genres covered, current fans were satisfied and likely new fans gained, as a night of refreshing and heartfelt ideas came to an end.’
    • ‘Just like hip hop, it's all influenced by funk, jazz and soul.’
    • ‘Yet, as the soundscapes remain tightly held together, Herren processes anything from jazz, funk or soul to dirty beats and glitches into one gigantic festival of sounds and atmospheres.’
    • ‘Theirs is a diverse and unlikely mix of influences, including jazz, funk, reggae and punk rock, along with Belgian brass band music, which they combine with various world music elements.’
    • ‘Many consider him the father of Afrobeat, that is the combination of Nigerian high-life and Yoruba rhythms with funk, soul and jazz.’
    • ‘You get in free before midnight and each night offers a musical difference: jazz, soul, funk or hip-hop, with Latino beats on Sundays.’
    • ‘On their first album, the Singers blended soul, funk, jazz and rock with lightweight dance beats, courtesy of Fila Brasilia.’
    • ‘Rich, rhythmical patterns and grooves represent roots in African culture, or to be more exact, Afro-American music in the realm of jazz, soul and funk.’
    • ‘At his best, he carves and splices jazz, R&B and funk elements into abstract soundscapes well-suited for a film noir soundtrack.’
    • ‘It makes for quite an eclectic mix, with elements of soul, funk, gospel and Rasta thrown into the hip-hop mix.’
    • ‘During that time, Madlib has expanded his scope with an extensive list of pseudonyms and collaborations that explore all forms of jazz, dub, soul, funk and psychedelia.’
    • ‘Elsewhere, Jon mixes up elements of dub, jazz and ambient music into the requisite funk beats.’
  • 2North American dated, informal in singular A strong musty smell of sweat or tobacco.

    • ‘From a subtle funk to a full-on stank, it's an absolute guarantee that something, somewhere within fifty feet of where you live, stinks to high heaven.’
    • ‘Some people smelled like funk because there was no support system for hygiene.’
    • ‘You gotta stick with me on this, though - I promise, the end result is worth the funk, and the smell goes away once it's been prepared.’
    • ‘It's not sweat or the funk from the equipment; it's a strange smell that's hard to describe.’
    • ‘We all smelled an odiferous funk coming from Viktor.’

verb

[with object]funk something up
  • Give music elements of the style of funk.

    • ‘They take old fashioned designs and funk them up with crazy colours and images of insects.’
    • ‘Rapper Rob B and the band funked it up through a beats and bass driven set and got the audience well into and out of it.’
    • ‘It's ideal for jazz players and, if you're so inclined, funking it up with a wah pedal.’
    • ‘Pine Grove Blues - A tune by Nathan Abshire which we took and funked it up a bit.’
    • ‘And the CD funks it up with Bootsy Collins of Parliment and the Funkadelics.’
    • ‘That's one of the reasons that I like to choose stylish clothes that are relatively inexpensive and then funk them up with accessories and an eye for geometry.’
    • ‘The song uses the hypnotic-electronic beat of Soft Cell's 80s hit ‘Tainted Love’ as its base rhythm but definitely funks it up in comparison to the original.’
    • ‘Still, there is not enough variety in the style of the songs - funk it up a bit.’
    • ‘Upping the tempo and controlling the beat, Mr. Kuts treats us to a little old skool electro flavour with What's Up At The Brotherfront before funking it up with some house with Mousse T's Fire.’
    • ‘As for formals, I'd suggest bringing a few cocktail dresses and some accessories to funk them up a bit.’
    • ‘Tony Hall funks it up big time with Trey starting to really get into it on Tell Me Something Good.’
    • ‘Influenced by electro-clash, disco and garage, Simon and Felix have taken the best bits of the music scene at the moment and funked them up as far as they can go.’
    • ‘In stripped down form, it's a great listen but the remash by Money Mark succeeds in funking things up considerably and closes the album in strong fashion.’
    • ‘So when I would approach record companies, I don't think they could see what I was talking about - that I was gonna funk them up, for lack of a better word.’
    • ‘Whether you want a traditional curled style or want to funk it up with spikes, tousles or free form hair tails you will be right in style.’
    • ‘At heart we are a funk rock band. we do our own versions of some classic songs basically funking them up and messing with them, as well as our own originals.’
    • ‘The band funks it up with varying shuffle drum backbeats, throbbing bass lines, a wailing saxophone and feathery keyboard treatments.’
    • ‘Stick to classic clothes - jeans and a white T-shirt have always been cool, baby - and then just funk them up with, say, a trendy belt.’
    • ‘Serve healthy and refreshing iced teas instead of fizzy drinks, and funk them up with colourful straws.’
    • ‘Oh, I wanna see this guy, I wanna hear this music live, I wanna see if they're gonna remix it or funk it up differently when I see them.’
    • ‘While the first CD is incredibly mellow, with Athlete, Phoenix and Snow Patrol, the second CD funks it up a bit.’
    • ‘Apparently, he also has a knack for picking songs that seem random at first, and funking them up into something big-beat, horn-blasting, soulful, and torally listenable.’
    • ‘If you want to re-cycle, but don't want all those bottles, cans, newspapers and the rest hanging around… buy some storage boxes, or even better make some, funk them up (you could use some of that paint leftover in the bottom of tins in the cellar or old wrapping paper perhaps), label them and stack them, or have them side by side, in the kitchen or other appropriate room.’
    • ‘Dave Kent funks it up even more with his driving house and breakbeat remix, adding analogue bass and disco sounds.’
    • ‘While many proceeded to funk it up, tone it down or plug it in, it became an inspiration for musicians like Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler and Peter Brotzmann.’
    • ‘With the exception of the pop ballad features for Miles like ‘Human Nature’, this band plays hard throughout and usually funks it up pretty good also.’
    • ‘He successfully croons Rose Royce's Wishing On A Star and funks it up on Sister Sledge's Thinking Of You.’
    • ‘Bernie is the mastermind behind it all, effortlessly floating from style to style, showing his skill at the most delicate of musical forms, and then funking it up like a maniac.’

Origin

Early 17th century (in the sense ‘musty smell’): perhaps from French dialect funkier ‘blow smoke on’, based on Latin fumus ‘smoke’.

Pronunciation

funk

/fəNGk//fəŋk/