Definition of stink in English:



  • 1Have a strong unpleasant smell.

    ‘the place stank like a sewer’
    ‘his breath stank of drink’
    • ‘He was leaning in and his breath stank of alcohol.’
    • ‘My room stank from the smell of tar today, thanks to the re-paving of the road outside my courtyard.’
    • ‘This room stunk so badly we could not stay in it for very long.’
    • ‘The Ylang Ylang scent, which I feared would stink like rutting pandas, smells like very old people.’
    • ‘The guy that grabbed me stank of alcohol and started to sway me back and forth.’
    • ‘The River Croal was an open sewer and the middens stank all through the year.’
    • ‘His breath stank of alcohol, despite the early hour.’
    • ‘To explore the hole you needed a very long ladder and a strong constitution: it stank and was crawling with rats.’
    • ‘What a sad, sad sight to see him there in his white apron, stinking from the smell of salami.’
    • ‘Soldiers said that the city just doesn't stink as it did when they arrived to find sewers backed up all over the place and mounds of rotting garbage.’
    • ‘She likes to relate the time a cat had a litter in her clothing, and how horrible her wardrobe stunk afterwards.’
    • ‘The air stank of burned plastic for at least two days after the attack.’
    • ‘Sometimes you can stink without letting off a smell and people will still keep away.’
    • ‘We decided to leave and came back in half an hour but the place absolutely stank.’
    • ‘The floor stank of sweat and urine, and Rave could hardly breathe.’
    • ‘His head was shaved and his black track suit stank of sweat and cigarette smoke.’
    • ‘It stunk like there was a dead body inside it, and perhaps there was.’
    • ‘The place stank of sour beer and cigarette smoke.’
    • ‘It was jelly-like and it stunk horribly, like butter gone off or old chip pan oil.’
    • ‘He smelled of musky cologne and his mouth stank of beer.’
    reek, smell bad, smell disgusting, smell foul, smell to high heaven, stink to high heaven, give off a bad smell
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with object]Fill a place with a strong unpleasant smell.
      ‘I hope they are not going to stink up the house with curry’
      • ‘You don't even have to get very close to one of these houses to smell the odor stinking up the whole area up to high heaven.’
      • ‘As you can imagine, this process stunk up the place to high heaven.’
      • ‘Cats do not harm the structure of the house but boy they can sure stink a place up!’
      • ‘Strongly aromatic foods like the Korean dish kimchi can really stink up a cabin, she says.’
      • ‘Last summer a number of huge flowers stunk up the country.’
      reek, smell bad, smell disgusting, smell foul, smell to high heaven, stink to high heaven, give off a bad smell
      View synonyms
  • 2informal Be very unpleasant, contemptible, or scandalous.

    ‘the industry's reputation stinks’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘We got three issues out before we realized we stunk at selling ads and subscriptions.’
    • ‘The first half hour, visually ‘influenced’ by Fellowship of the Ring, is so poorly written it stinks like an episode of Hercules with an extra $14 in the budget.’
    • ‘It can also be very revealing if you loved the movie and he thinks it stunk.’
    • ‘The success of Angela's Ashes spawned a spate of memoirs-by-nobody-in-particular, most of which, frankly, stunk.’
    • ‘‘I'd rather you told me I stunk,’ I said, ‘than tell me I lost the job because of my race.’’
    be very unpleasant, be abhorrent, be despicable, be contemptible, be disgusting, be vile, be foul
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Be highly suggestive of (something regarded with disapproval)
      ‘the whole affair stinks of a setup’
      • ‘Whether it's pitch battles, boardroom corruption, manager's bungs or ticket tout scandals, the whole league stinks of sleaze.’
      • ‘He was the front runner, and the whole affair stank of the worst kind of partisan hackery.’
      • ‘The whole thing stinks of favoritism, especially as, according to several Borg drones, the Linux angle was already being pursued in-house.’
      • ‘The whole thing stinks of desperation - desperation to seem cool, to seem relevant, to be popular.’
      • ‘But most of all, the whole project simply stank of arrogance.’
      • ‘Granted, nothing I have offered is conclusive, but this whole issue really stinks of fraud.’
      • ‘The whole thing stank of a concerted attempt to ride the wave of bad publicity games were getting in the mainstream press at the time.’
      • ‘From what he had gathered from the Marines, however, the whole thing stank of an ambush.’
      • ‘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
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2Have or appear to have a scandalously large amount of (something, especially money)
      ‘the whole place was luxurious and stank of money’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘Back in the eighties when the money was flowing, the place stank of evil and unacceptable moral standards, pretty much like today, except that the economy is in the toilet.’
      • ‘The place still stinks of money - and not just the old double-barrelled wealth traditionally associated with the club.’
      • ‘The room absolutely stank of fear and pain.’
      • ‘The office carried the stink of money and power.’


  • 1A strong unpleasant smell; a stench.

    ‘the stink of the place hit me as I went in’
    • ‘The huge mounds of refuse have gone and so has the stink.’
    • ‘Once I tried reading the Herald on a car trip to Sydney, but it's a broadsheet and with the newsprint stink, I spewed all over the business pages.’
    • ‘It smells terrible, and the stink was getting into my house, my van and other houses nearby.’
    • ‘At times you can smell the stink, hear the rats running in his shack, and feel the numbing cold.’
    • ‘Interestingly, even though the stink from this particular city stretch is so powerful that strong men quaver, the authorities are apparently contemplating introducing boating in the Canal.’
    • ‘Even if the gas wasn't poisonous, the stink was still unpleasant.’
    • ‘There was an odd stink, but the house seemed clean.’
    • ‘There was a slight breeze, and I neatly managed to avoid the worst of the stink.’
    • ‘Since the intervention of the special unit, the stink at the school had been slowly dissipating, sources said.’
    • ‘Unmindful of the rain and the stink, several drove down, specially to catch the sight of rain lashing the lake, and yes, get themselves drenched to the skin.’
    • ‘There's been a stink in my classroom, for a week now, we couldn't figure out where it was coming from, but it smelled like metho.’
    • ‘I daren't put clothes in it until I am happy with the smell as I don't want them to absorb the stink.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘I opened a window in an attempt to circulate some air and get the cigarette stink off of Ben and I, and it happened to be making one young thing in the back cold.’
    • ‘The stink is loathsome and high where wasted rubbish gets disposed off uncaringly in an open public place.’
    • ‘I hope nobody ever has to smell the stink that my family and neighbors are experiencing.’
    • ‘The stink in the dining room is as bad as garbage smell.’
    • ‘He could still smell the stink, but his nose was sort of numb now and he didn't care.’
    • ‘‘But the stink was putrid, the smells were absolutely awful,’ he said.’
    • ‘It's supposed to cover up the stench of stale pee, but the disinfectant stink is almost as bad.’
    stench, reek, foul smell, bad smell, fetidness, effluvium, malodour, malodorousness, miasma
    View synonyms
  • 2informal A commotion or fuss.

    ‘no matter how nice the restaurant is, wacko Meg has to make a big stink and embarrass the rest of us’
    • ‘One theory was put my way when the stink over Coke and Pepsi broke out which I present now for your consideration.’
    • ‘The stink travelled with them, like body odour.’
    • ‘If the council wishes to take action I will be quite pleased because I will really raise a stink about this.’
    • ‘‘They can do it but the political stink will be quite intense,’ he said.’
    • ‘If it's nothing special, why are the first-mentioned group of people kicking up such a stink?’
    • ‘In mid-August, a group of mainland Chinese business executives made such a stink at a Chicago hardware fair that most attendants were left perplexed and appalled.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Residents causing a stink over chemical emissions from a business park - which left them unable to open their windows because of the stench - have persuaded Pendle Council to investigate.’
    • ‘The Australian Workers Union who represent production line employees of Ion in Adelaide have raised a stink about this arrangement, to no avail.’
    • ‘Why think when it's so less demanding to simply raise a stink?’
    • ‘If I were on trial and I got even so much as a hint that the judge might be biased against me, I'd certainly raise a stink about it.’
    • ‘However an Enniscrone businessman said he was considering withholding payment of his rates in protest at the on-gong stink.’
    • ‘Dragging this old case up will create such a stink, it will pit neighbour against neighbour.’
    • ‘Milltown residents have been creating a stink about raw sewerage that is flowing into a river in the village.’
    • ‘He is out of office because he's raising a stink,’ says a Taradale resident.’
    • ‘Of course, the kid threw up a stink, started yelling and screaming, and its elder sister had to drag it off for a replacement.’
    • ‘The project's caused quite a stink among victims' rights groups and staunch conservatives.’
    • ‘The sight of the brightly coloured Royal Parade Lilies has caused a real stink among Sinn Fein representatives.’
    • ‘They prove their mettle daily, without making such a stink.’
    • ‘Disgruntled natives of Boyle are creating a stink over a decision by Beirne's Bins to revise their pricing policy.’
    fuss, commotion, rumpus, ruckus, trouble, outcry, uproar, brouhaha, furore
    View synonyms


  • like stink

    • informal Extremely hard or intensely.

      ‘she's working like stink to get everything ready’
      • ‘They have ended up separating, hating each other's guts, taking law suits out against each other, and fighting like stink over the property.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘One thing that really helps my attitude is thinking about setting records when the wind isn't blowing like stink.’
      • ‘This bike goes like stink and handles like a dream.’


Old English stincan; related to Dutch and German stinken, also to stench.