Definition of wonky in English:



  • 1Not straight; crooked or askew.

    ‘you have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth’
    • ‘My housemate can't bear her because she ‘has a wonky nose’!’
    • ‘Ed - with his easygoing manner, endless chat and slightly wonky front teeth - is absolutely loveable, but quite obviously can't cook to save his life.’
    • ‘Seventy plus males all fighting over the remote control, forgetting your birthday or nailing wonky shelves to the firmament without first reading the instructions?’
    • ‘You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.’
    • ‘Dismayed residents of Beach Road, Canvey, reckoned Castle Point Council pulled the plug on the scheme to repair drains and replace wonky footpaths, after running out of money.’
    • ‘He chatted in between the songs telling jokes and relating weird stories, he drank beer too, he climbed on the grand piano, he threw flowers into the audience and he fell to his knees more often than a nun with a wonky knee.’
    • ‘Since I had never mastered the threading of a sewing machine, let alone made an item of clothing, this was taking a risk, but I was soon chalking out patterns and even running up the odd wonky seam without mishap.’
    • ‘To further the debate, or for a cheap gag against a Scouser with a very-slightly wonky gob, who has the temerity to be married to the most powerful man in the country without even ever killing a fox?’
    • ‘I'm 91 next month but I enjoy good health, apart from a wonky heart and two wonky knees.’
    • ‘But it is precisely that wonky smile, lugubrious air and bitter chocolate voice that pierces the hearts of the toughest ball-breaking women of my acquaintance.’
    • ‘I was taking screenshots & putting them in the documentation, but now the engineer has debugging turned on and the pages look all wonky.’
    • ‘The names of the tracks were printed on the album sleeve in wonky black type, making them look like classic anonymous ransom demands cobbled together from letters cut out of newspapers.’
    • ‘There are spelling mistakes, the print is wonky, the setting of words completely misinterpreted, and to top it all, a font that I've never in my life used, appears in three random words on the care label.’
    • ‘Side kicks are tough for me, ‘cause I have wonky hips, but everything else wasn't too bad.’
    • ‘My grandma told me (not in these exact words…) that Sean's head was wonky and I should rub his lumpy skull while it was still soft.’
    • ‘That means 46% have such fetid breath and wonky teeth that lonely nights, feverish thoughts and painfully stubborn virginity seem an inevitability.’
    • ‘The most I could manage without cocking things up was a wonky line of cross-stitch.’
    • ‘Half-timbered buildings, all pastel-shaded, push out over them, looking terribly wonky - as they've doubtless looked for 700 years.’
    • ‘Now I don't know what is the stranger word, blogging or wonky.’
    • ‘So now I've a wonky mattress… I SO need a new bed (donations gratefully received LOL)!’
    • ‘From the corner of Décarie and Jean-Talon, you can also, for another 10 days, see Cheval Théâtre's wonky Medieval-inspired tents in the distance.’
    crooked, off-centre, lopsided, askew, skew
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    1. 1.1(of a thing) unsteady.
      ‘they sat drinking, perched on the wonky stools’
      • ‘One pit latrine had a sort of toilet built on top, but it was very wonky.’
      • ‘The big snow finally did in the wonky bracket and the horizontal pipe is currently filled with brackish water and dead leaves, while the vertical one leans against the house.’
      • ‘For those of you who don't know, ‘books’ are those hard, flat things made out of paper and cardboard most often used to stabilize wonky table legs.’
      • ‘He said: ‘One of the wheels is wonky, the handles are unstable and I was feeling quite worried about it.’’
      • ‘It is dark, with low ceilings, crooked wooden floors, wonky bar stools and an array of nationalist paraphernalia on the walls.’
      • ‘If books play a bigger part in your life than as props for wonky tables, a means of murdering insects or a useful storage space for old receipts, then a literary evening at one of York's more versatile pubs could be right up your alley.’
      • ‘I, for instance, always choose the one with the wonky wheel and the damp seat, which, as I'm sure my parents would be the first to point out, goes a long to explaining my choice of boyfriends down the years.’
      • ‘The railings are broken, the steps descending into Terrace Field are now so wonky that they are impassable to some less agile walkers and many of the trees that once crowned the hilltop have died or blown over.’
      • ‘If you took a map of Australia and drew a wonky circle around the middle of the country, you'd land in the outback: red dirt, sparely inhabited, the back country.’
      • ‘My wounds were dressed, the burn on my shoulder was dressed, and I was still a bit wonky as we say in the biz, but I was able to say that I had ‘forgotten’ my medicine, which was a lie.’
      wobbly, unsteady, unstable, shaky, rocky
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    2. 1.2Not functioning correctly; faulty.
      ‘I enjoy good health, apart from two wonky knees’
      • ‘Plus, I bought a new laptop, for no reason other than the one I have been using is in the area of five years old, has a wonky screen, can't seem to play sound and have a USB device plugged in to it, and weighs a ton.’
      • ‘Please send me an e-mail if you notice anything wonky.’
      • ‘The wonky lights have been malfunctioning for so long, and so often, a rumour spread in the area that the equipment was, in fact, secondhand when it was installed.’
      • ‘It's all guesswork this week, though, because we don't know who is able to dance like an angel skipping across the clouds, and who can only lurch around like a wonky 1930s robot.’
      • ‘In Waters's world, everything is a little wonky and off center.’
      • ‘Heretofore my worst disaster was a 3.5 inch disk going wonky and eating a chapter of my dissertation (which sucked anyway) so my number was just up for a hard drive failure.’
      • ‘Upon encountering a woman with pointy bosoms, let's say in the corridor by the wonky coffee machine, it is generally considered bad form if you exclaim ‘Pointy bosoms!’’
      • ‘Today, it isn't a problem with the rabbit ears or a loose bit of coax: a bad picture means that the decompression of a digital video stream has gone all wonky.’
      • ‘Well, when you're plodding along with your stick and your wonky knees, walking further on hard pavements than you ought, you're entitled to direct some small spite at the drivers who've stolen your space, aren't you?’
      • ‘John Logie Baird, television innovator, with lots of pictures of Baird and his wonky machines, including a diagram of the early TV studios at Crystal Palace.’
      • ‘Now, unless there's a whole series of brain cells gone wonky in exactly the right place, I seem to remember some old thing about ‘one cuckoo does not a summer make’.’
      • ‘I try and check viewability of this site using other browsers from time to time (especially if changing something major) but otherwise I won't know if something looks wonky.’
      malfunctioning, broken, damaged, defective, not working, not functioning, in disrepair, out of order, out of commission, inoperative, unsound, unusable, useless
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Early 20th century: fanciful formation.