1 [fuhngk]
cowering fear; state of great fright or terror.
a dejected mood: He's been in a funk ever since she walked out on him.
verb (used with object)
to be afraid of.
to frighten.
to shrink from; try to shirk.
verb (used without object)
to shrink or quail in fear.

1735–45; perhaps < early Dutch dialect fonck

funker, noun Unabridged


2 [fuhngk]
music having a funky quality.
the state or quality of being funky.
a strong smell; stench.

1615–25; perhaps < North French dialect funquier, funquer give off smoke, Old North French fungier < Vulgar Latin fūmicāre, alteration of Latin fūmigāre; see fumigate


[foongk, fuhngk]
Casimir [kaz-uh-meer] , 1884–1967, U.S. biochemist, born in Poland: discovered thiamine, the first vitamin isolated. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
funk1 (fʌŋk)
1.  Also called: blue funk a state of nervousness, fear, or depression (esp in the phrase in a funk)
2.  a coward
3.  to flinch from (responsibility) through fear
4.  (tr; usually passive) to make afraid
[C18: university slang, perhaps related to funk²]

funk2 (fʌŋk)
slang (US) a strong foul odour
[C17 (in the sense: tobacco smoke): from funk (vb) to smoke (tobacco), probably of French dialect origin; compare Old French funkier to smoke, from Latin fūmigāre]

funk3 (fʌŋk)
informal a type of polyrhythmic Black dance music with heavy syncopation
[C20: back formation from funky1]

Funk (fʌŋk)
Casimir (ˈkæzɪˌmɪə). 1884--1967, US biochemist, born in Poland: studied and named vitamins

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"depression, ill-humor," 1743, probably originally Scottish and northern English, earlier as a verb, "panic, fail through panic," (1737), said to be 17c. Oxford University slang, perhaps from Flem. fonck "perturbation, agitation, distress," possibly related to O.Fr. funicle "wild, mad."

"bad smell," 1620s, from dialectal Fr. funkière "smoke," from O.Fr. fungier "give off smoke," from L. fumigare "to smoke." In reference to a style of music, it is first attested 1959, a back formation from funky.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

Funk (fŭngk, fōōngk), Casimir. 1884-1967.

Polish-born American biochemist whose research of deficiency diseases led to the discovery of vitamins, which he named in 1912.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
Funk   (fŭngk, fngk)  Pronunciation Key 
Polish-born American biochemist who is credited with the discovery of vitamins. In 1912 he postulated the existence of four organic bases he called vitamines which were necessary for normal health and the prevention of deficiency diseases. He also contributed to the knowledge of the hormones of the pituitary gland and the sex glands.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang Dictionary

funk definition

  1. n.
    a bad odor; a stench. : What is that ghastly funk in here?
  2. n.
    tobacco smoke. : Most of those important decisions are made by party hacks in funk-filled back rooms.
  3. n.
    a depressed state. : I've been in such a funk that I can't get my work done.
  4. n.
    cowardice; terror. : She suffers this terrible funk whenever she has to give a talk.
  5. n.
    a kind of blues rock; jazz based on gospel music. : Man, groove on that funk, would ya?
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


rhythm-drivenrhythm-driven musical genre popular in the 1970s and early 1980s that linked soul to later African-American musical styles. Like many words emanating from the African-American oral tradition, funk defies literal definition, for its usage varies with circumstance. As a slang term, funky is used to describe one's odour, unpredictable style, or attitude. Musically, funk refers to a style of aggressive urban dance music driven by hard syncopated bass lines and drumbeats and accented by any number of instruments involved in rhythmic counterplay, all working toward a "groove."

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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