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13 Essential Literary Terms

flunk

[fluhngk] /flʌŋk/
verb (used without object)
1.
to fail in a course or examination.
verb (used with object)
2.
to fail to get a passing mark in:
to flunk math.
3.
to give a failing grade to; remove (a student) as unqualified from a school or course.
noun
4.
a failure, as in a course or examination.
Verb phrases
5.
flunk out, to fail and be unable to continue in:
He flunked out of flight school.
Origin
1815-1825
1815-25, Americanism; perhaps akin to flinch1, funk1
Related forms
unflunked, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for flunk out

flunk

/flʌŋk/
verb
1.
to fail or cause to fail to reach the required standard in (an examination, course, etc)
2.
(intransitive) foll by out. to be dismissed from a school or college through failure in examinations
noun
3.
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
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Word Origin and History for flunk out

flunk

v.

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
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Slang definitions & phrases for flunk out

flunk out

verb phrase
  1. To fail; make a botch
  2. To be dismissed from school for failing work: The great man had flunked out of Wittenberg (1838+)

flunk

noun

: I've got three passes and two flunks

verb
  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.
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Idioms and Phrases with flunk out

flunk out

.
Expel or be expelled from a school because one's work does not meet the required standard. For example, He flunked out of Harvard after just one year. [ ; early 1800s ]
.
Fail at anything, as in The camera ran out of film so we flunked out as photographers. [ ; late 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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