9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[stingk] /stɪŋk/
verb (used without object), stank or, often stunk; stunk; stinking.
to emit a strong offensive smell.
to be offensive to honesty or propriety; to be in extremely bad repute or disfavor.
Informal. to be disgustingly inferior:
That book stinks.
Slang. to have a large quantity of something (usually followed by of or with):
They stink of money. She stinks with jewelry.
verb (used with object), stank or, often stunk; stunk; stinking.
to cause to stink or be otherwise offensive (often followed by up):
an amateurish performance that really stank up the stage.
a strong offensive smell; stench.
Informal. an unpleasant fuss; scandal:
There was a big stink about his accepting a bribe.
stinks, (used with a singular verb) British Slang. chemistry as a course of study.
Verb phrases
stink out, to repel or drive out by means of a highly offensive smell.
Origin of stink
before 900; (v.) Middle English stinken, Old English stincan; (noun) Middle English, derivative of the v.; cognate with German stinken. (v.); cf. stench
Related forms
outstink, verb (used with object), outstank or, often outstunk; outstunk; outstinking.
1. reek. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for stink
  • Dairy farms smell, but chicken farms stink, especially in the mid-afternoon heat.
  • Apparently the fruit's sweet, creamy center is a treasure worth pursuing if you can bear the stink and get past the spiky husk.
  • The crew was ordered to the higher decks and armed with smoke bombs and bottles of butyric acid, which are mega stink bombs.
  • When a group of bed bugs gets disturbed, you may get a whiff of that odor, which is similar to the odor stink bugs give off.
  • The stink of exhaust, the mind-numbing tedium of traffic, parking lots blighting central city real estate.
  • It is these amino-acid-eaters that cause feet to stink.
  • The second reason coaches stink at making decisions on fourth down is that they stink at statistics.
  • They remain calm in his presence but grow consternated when they catch the stink of a stranger.
  • Everyone knows that dead animals begin to rot and stink as bacteria break down their meat and give off toxic chemicals.
  • Both parties could get away with this policy as long as no one made a stink about it.
British Dictionary definitions for stink


a strong foul smell; stench
(slang) a great deal of trouble (esp in the phrase to make or raise a stink)
like stink, intensely; furiously
verb (mainly intransitive) stinks, stinking, stank, stunk, stunk
to emit a foul smell
(slang) to be thoroughly bad or abhorrent: this town stinks
(informal) to have a very bad reputation: his name stinks
to be of poor quality
(slang) foll by of or with. to have or appear to have an excessive amount (of money)
(informal) (transitive) usually foll by up. to cause to stink
See also stink out
Word Origin
Old English stincan; related to Old Saxon stinkan, German stinken, Old Norse stökkva to burst; see stench
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for stink

Old English stincan "emit a smell of any kind" (class III strong verb; past tense stonc), from West Germanic *stenkwanan (cf. Old Saxon stincan, Old High German stinkan, Dutch stinken), from the root of stench. Old English swote stincan "to smell sweet," but offensive sense began in Old English and was primary by mid-13c.; smell now tends the same way. Figurative meaning "be offensive" is from early 13c.; meaning "be inept" is recorded from 1924. To stink to high heaven first recorded 1963.


c.1300, from stink (v.). Sense of "extensive fuss" first recorded 1812.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for stink



A tricking or entrapment, either in a confidence scheme or as part of a law-enforcement operation: have used sting to describe undercover operations that use a bogus business operation as a front/ Let's contrast Abscam with traditional law-enforcement stings (1975+)

  1. To cheat; swindle; defraud; scam (1812+)
  2. To overcharge; stick: He got stung at the corner market (1927+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with stink


In addition to the idiom beginning with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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