"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[fluhngk] /flʌŋk/
verb (used without object)
to fail in a course or examination.
verb (used with object)
to fail to get a passing mark in:
to flunk math.
to give a failing grade to; remove (a student) as unqualified from a school or course.
a failure, as in a course or examination.
Verb phrases
flunk out, to fail and be unable to continue in:
He flunked out of flight school.
Origin of flunk
1815-25, Americanism; perhaps akin to flinch1, funk1
Related forms
unflunked, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for flunk
  • And if you flunk out, you might not get a second chance because there are age limits for admissions.
  • We flunk students all the time for not understanding the basic concepts in their field.
  • Unfortunately, the continent's rulers are likely to flunk it.
  • We have real grading and performance standards and enforce them, and flunk out a lot of students.
  • Teachers were routinely pressured not to flunk students.
  • Others simply flunk out because they can't do the work.
  • It is argued that the fad to flunk kindergarten children is the product of inappropriate curriculum.
  • For example, suppose you find out that he had an illness that caused him to flunk out of school and get into a car accident.
British Dictionary definitions for flunk


to fail or cause to fail to reach the required standard in (an examination, course, etc)
(intransitive) foll by out. to be dismissed from a school or college through failure in examinations
a low grade below the pass standard
Word Origin
C19: perhaps from flinch1 + funk1
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for flunk

1823, American English college slang, original meaning "to back out, give up, fail," traditionally said to be an alteration of British university slang funk "to be frightened, shrink from" (see funk (n.1)). Related: Flunked; flunking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for flunk



: I've got three passes and two flunks

  1. To fail; make a botch of: I tried selling, but flunked at that
  2. To fail an examination, a course, etc; bust: He flunked the final but passed the course
  3. To give a student a failing grade

[1823+ College; origin unknown; perhaps a blend of fail with funk, perhaps echoic of a dull collapse]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for flunk

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for flunk

Scrabble Words With Friends