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13 Essential Literary Terms

conk1

[kongk, kawngk] /kɒŋk, kɔŋk/
noun
1.
the head.
2.
a blow on the head.
3.
British. the nose.
verb (used with object)
4.
to hit or strike on the head.
Origin
1805-1815
1805-15; of obscure origin

conk2

[kongk, kawngk] /kɒŋk, kɔŋk/
verb (used without object), Slang.
1.
to break or fail, as a machine or engine (often followed by out):
The engine conked out halfway there.
2.
to slow down or stop; lose energy (often followed by out).
3.
to go to sleep (usually followed by off or out).
4.
to lose consciousness; faint (usually followed by out).
5.
to die (usually followed by out).
Origin
1915-20; perhaps of imitative orig.

conk3

[kongk, kawngk] /kɒŋk, kɔŋk/
noun, Mycology
1.
the shelflike fruiting body of certain wood-decaying fungi; bracket.
Origin
1850-55, Americanism; of obscure origin
Related forms
conky, adjective

conk4

[kongk, kawngk] /kɒŋk, kɔŋk/
noun
1.
a method of chemically straightening the hair.
2.
a hairstyle in which the hair has been chemically straightened and sometimes set into waves.
verb (used with object)
3.
to straighten (kinky hair) by the use of chemicals:
to have one's hair conked.
Also, process.
Origin
probably shortening and alteration of congolene, alleged to be the name of a hair straightener made from Congo copal
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for conk
  • If they don't conk out on landing, they get stuck behind their own air bags.
  • One old woodsman sketched his log cabin on a conk that he claims lasted more than forty years.
  • conk- a fungal structure, usually formed by wood rot fungus, that commonly extends from the bark in a shelflike fashion.
British Dictionary definitions for conk

conk

/kɒŋk/
verb
1.
to strike (someone) a blow, esp on the head or nose
noun
2.
a punch or blow, esp on the head or nose
3.
the head or (esp Brit and NZ) the nose
Word Origin
C19: probably changed from conch
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 conk
v.

as in conk out, 1918, coined by World War I airmen, perhaps in imitation of the sound of a stalling motor, reinforced by conk (v.) "hit on the head," originally "punch in the nose" (1821), from conk (n.), slang for "nose" (1812), perhaps from fancied resemblance to a conch (pronounced "conk") shell.

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

conk 1

noun

The head •Conk designated the nose earlier, by 1812 (1860s+)

verb
  1. To hit on the nose or head: I got conked by the bat (1925+)
  2. To defeat utterly; clobber (1950s+)
Related Terms

bust one's ass

[probably fr conch]


conk 2

noun

: I couldn't get over marveling at how their hair was straight and shiny like white men's hair; Ella told me this was called ''conk''

verb

To apply a mixture sometimes containing lye to the head in order to straighten kinky hair

[1940s+ Black; probably fr Congolene, trademark of a preparation used to straighten hair, influenced by conk1]


conk 3

verb

To die; cease to operate; conk out: A year after that, a spinster aunt conked (WWI Royal Flying Corps)


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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Word Value for conk

10
12
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