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[fuhngk] /fʌŋk/
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.
Origin of funk1
early Dutch dialect
1735-45; perhaps < early Dutch dialect fonck
Related forms
funker, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for funking
Historical Examples
  • He liked the sound of the jellies and the tipsy-cake, and just at present he knew of no special reason for “funking” the doctor.

    The Willoughby Captains Talbot Baines Reed
  • After his boasted avidity to execute the service, he must wear an air of funking it.

    To Tell You the Truth Leonard Merrick
  • He knew what "get him" meant Barney Green turned on him, and savagely asked if he was "funking" again.

    Tom Gerrard Louis Becke
  • You guessed that the chief who led us against those Spaniards was funking!

    The Hero of Panama F. S. Brereton
  • Unless indeed your being here has been just a reason for her funking it.

  • "D'you mean to say there isn't—no one," he said, funking the word.

    Tono Bungay H. G. Wells
  • George almost hoped she would, for he was, as he confessed to himself, “funking it.”

    Mr. Witt's Widow Anthony Hope
  • Bet's funking it,—she's a mammy's girl,—she's tied to her mammy's apron-strings, he-he-he!

    A Girl of the People L. T. Meade
  • It was no use, he said, snivelling, or funking the thing; so he went into battle valiantly.

    Ravenshoe Henry Kingsley
  • Moreover, dying's none so dreadful; it's the funking makes it bad.

    The War of the Worlds H. G. Wells
British Dictionary definitions for funking


Also called blue funk. a state of nervousness, fear, or depression (esp in the phrase in a funk)
a coward
to flinch from (responsibility) through fear
(transitive; usually passive) to make afraid
Derived Forms
funker, noun
Word Origin
C18: university slang, perhaps related to funk²


(US, slang) a strong foul odour
Word Origin
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


(informal) a type of polyrhythmic Black dance music with heavy syncopation
Word Origin
C20: back formation from funky1


Casimir (ˈkæzɪˌmɪə). 1884–1967, US biochemist, born in Poland: studied and named vitamins
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 funking



"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 Flemish fonck "perturbation, agitation, distress," possibly related to Old French funicle "wild, mad."

"bad smell," 1620s, from dialectal French funkière "smoke," from Old French fungier "give off smoke; fill with smoke," from Latin fumigare "to smoke" (see fume (n.)). 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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funking in Medicine

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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funking in Science
  (fŭngk, fngk)   
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 definitions & phrases for funking

funk 1


Depression; moroseness; the BLUES: This levelheaded man of logic, however, is also a creature of moods and funks/ You guys are in a funk (1743+)


To fail through panic; be frightened to immobility •Chiefly British: She would have won, but suddenly funked (1737+)

Related Terms

blue funk, in a funk

[perhaps fr Flemish fonck, ''perturbation'']

funk 2


A style of urban lack musi that relies heavily on bass guitar and exhibits elements like African rhythms, the blues, early rock and roll, jazz, etc: There is no denying the influence of Instant Funk/ the Minister of Super Heavy Funk, the legendary James Brown/ He is New Orleans ''fonk''


To play or move to an urban lack musi that features a dominant bass guitar: I think it's all right to funk all night

[1950s+ Musicians; fr funky]

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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