skunk

Listen:
UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈskʌŋk/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/skʌŋk/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(skungk)


Inflections of 'skunk' (nnoun: Refers to person, place, thing, quality, etc.):
skunks
nplplural noun: Noun always used in plural form--for example, "jeans," "scissors." (All usages)
skunk
nplplural noun: Noun always used in plural form--for example, "jeans," "scissors." (Can be used as a collective plural—e.g. "Skunk give off a nasty smell when frightened.")

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
skunk /skʌŋk/USA pronunciation   n.[countable]pl.  skunks, (esp. when thought of as a group) skunk, v. 
n. [countable]
  1. Mammalsan animal of North America having a bushy tail and a black coat with white markings and spraying a foul-smelling fluid as a defense.
  2. Informal Termsa bad or mean person.

v. [+ object][Slang.]
  1. Slang Termsto defeat completely in a game.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
skunk  (skungk),USA pronunciation n., pl.  skunks,  (esp. collectively) skunk, v. 
n. 
  1. Mammalsa small North American mammal, Mephitis mephitis, of the weasel family, having a black coat with a white,V-shaped stripe on the back, and ejecting a fetid odor when alarmed or attacked.
  2. Mammalsany of several related or similar animals. Cf.  hog-nosed skunk, spotted skunk. 
  3. Informal Termsa thoroughly contemptible person.
  4. Military, Slang Terms[U.S. Navy Slang.]an unidentified ship or target.

v.t. 
  1. Slang Termsto defeat thoroughly in a game, esp. while keeping an opponent from scoring:The team skunked the favorites in the crucial game.
  • the Massachusett reflex of Proto-Algonquian *ŝeka·kwa (derivative of *ŝek- urinate + -a·kw fox, foxlike animal
  • 1625–35, American.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
skunk /skʌŋk/ n ( pl skunks, skunk)
  1. any of various American musteline mammals of the subfamily Mephitinae, esp Mephitis mephitis (striped skunk), typically having a black and white coat and bushy tail: they eject an unpleasant-smelling fluid from the anal gland when attacked
  2. informal a despicable person
Etymology: 17th Century: from Algonquian; compare Abnaki segākw skunk
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