Definition of skank in US English:



  • 1North American informal A sleazy or unpleasant person.

    • ‘I'm not super model pretty or a skank but I'm not ogre ugly either.’
    1. 1.1derogatory A woman who has many casual sexual encounters or relationships.
      • ‘You're a skank, Karen, and clearly you're embracing your role.’
      • ‘At least I didn't announce my presence to the world, or dress like a skank in a dress three sizes too small for me.’
      • ‘Every boy wanted to go out with Jessica, even if they claimed they didn't because she was a slut, a skank, or she had a horrible personality.’
  • 2A steady-paced dance performed to reggae music, characterized by rhythmically bending forward, raising the knees, and extending the hands palms-downward.

    1. 2.1 Reggae music suitable for dancing the skank to.
      • ‘Planet Rock needed a blast of skank and T in the Park was just the fest to provide it.’


  • 1with object Swindle or deceive.

    ‘they made a tidy sum skanking the tourists’
    1. 1.1 Obtain by deception or theft.
      ‘I skanked the poster off some wall’
  • 2often as adjective skankingno object Play reggae music or dance the skank.

    • ‘You wouldn't be ashamed if you were caught skanking to this.’
    • ‘The year is 1998, and the group performs before an overflowing hometown hall of writhing, bouncing, pushing and skanking mop-haired kids and mod hipsters.’
    • ‘The week will wrap up with some heavy skanking, as reggae dancing is known, as the Yeoville Recreational Centre comes alive with a Rasta revolution.’
    • ‘I try nodding my head, skanking in a ragga style, foot tapping and finger waggling.’
    • ‘This album will make kids think it's still cool to skank in your bedroom and not care if your mom catches you.’
    • ‘Avie let the beat flow through her as she lifted her feet and arms in rhythm, and she had a lot of fun skanking with Jade.’


1970s: of unknown origin.