Definition of skunk in English:

skunk

noun

  • 1A cat-sized American mammal of the weasel family, with distinctive black-and-white-striped fur. When threatened it squirts a fine spray of foul-smelling irritant liquid from its anal glands toward its attacker.

    • ‘The thought of a bar on a Saturday night was as appealing as a dead skunk.’
    • ‘There was, it turned out, a dead, bloated skunk trapped just beneath one of the storm sewer grates in the alley next to our house.’
    • ‘No, I lived in the city, and I knew the smell of skunk quite well.’
    • ‘Then again, does the smell of a skunk's spray necessarily follow the skunk out of the room?’
    • ‘Something about it was not what I'm used to, but it still smelled like skunk.’
    • ‘The weasel family includes such colourful characters as otters, wolverines, skunks, minks and badgers.’
    • ‘There is only a dead skunk where water on road would be.’
    • ‘Outside there would be the pervasive odor of skunk.’
    • ‘The spray from a skunk will not cause permanent blindness.’
    • ‘They can be shot or trapped or otherwise killed as a nuisance animal, like gophers, skunks or weasels, Holsten said.’
    • ‘All kinds of critters like to dine on poultry, including raccoons, skunks, opossums, weasels, foxes, coyotes, dogs and feral cats.’
    • ‘Burrows are also often shared with other mammals such as rabbits, skunks and possums.’
    • ‘Striped skunks sometimes eat crops and raid chicken pens, though this is rare.’
    • ‘She laughed and laughed while father told her about the time he got sprayed by a skunk.’
    • ‘He also can't smell skunk so I'm not sure what I expect.’
    • ‘The number of rabid skunks documented in Texas was relatively low through the 1990s.’
    • ‘Striped skunks use scent marking to communicate presence and reproductive state to other skunks.’
    • ‘Like that amorous skunk Pepé Le Pew, you're determined to make a luscious someone yours, even if she thinks you're stinky.’
    • ‘At birth, baby striped skunks are blind, deaf, and extremely immature.’
    1. 1.1 The fur of the skunk.
      • ‘After purchasing a cap made of skunk fur and unable to hold any more purchases, he found himself back at the kissing booth.’
    2. 1.2informal A contemptible person.
      • ‘I can't believe that stinky skunk hung up on me!’
      • ‘Some talk as if you were the skunk at the garden party.’
      • ‘He's a wily, nefarious skunk, is what he is, gang.’
      • ‘I got some arranging to do and we don't want that skunk to know we smell him yet.’
      scoundrel, villain, rogue, rascal, brute, animal, weasel, snake, monster, ogre, wretch, devil, good-for-nothing, reprobate, wrongdoer, evil-doer
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verb

[WITH OBJECT]North American
informal
  • 1Defeat (someone) overwhelmingly in a game or contest, especially by preventing them from scoring at all.

    • ‘Been skunked a few times this year, even though you used your favorite rod, went to your super-secret spot and wore your lucky underwear?’
    • ‘After that, we went to play a round of pool so that I could redeem myself, and we both thought for a bit that I was going to skunk him.’
    • ‘We don't always get skunked on these expeditions.’
    • ‘If weather skunked our 14-day road trip, we would at least hit the most spectacular ski area in Canada.’
    • ‘When I got to the gate I found all of the outlets already in use - skunked again!’
    • ‘Just as Lola was about to skunk Sherice with her peg points the doorbell rang.’
    defeat, beat, best, get the better of, gain the advantage over, prevail over, triumph over, gain a victory over, trounce, rout, thrash, drub, vanquish, conquer, master, overcome, overwhelm, overpower, overthrow, crush, subdue, subjugate
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  • 2dated Fail to pay (a bill or creditor)

Origin

Mid 17th century: from Abnaki segankw; variants occur in many other American Indian dialects.

Pronunciation

skunk

/skəŋk//skəNGk/