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[fuhng-kee] /ˈfʌŋ ki/
adjective, funkier, funkiest.
overcome with great fear; terrified.
1830-40; funk1 + -y1


[fuhng-kee] /ˈfʌŋ ki/
adjective, funkier, funkiest.
Jazz. having an earthy, blues-based quality or character.
having an offensive smell; evil-smelling; foul.
1905-10, Americanism; funk2 + -y1
Related forms
funkily, adverb
funkiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for funky
  • Amid its funky martial arts, a moral lesson comes through: things are not always what they seem.
  • As petrol prices rise, policymakers and venture capitalists are suddenly embracing funky alternatives.
  • funky decor and panoramic views from its wraparound balcony.
  • One scientist's quest to understand some funky fins taps a new crowdsourcing model to funding his project.
  • He wasn't doing an oldies show, he was doing funky new material.
  • The funky shop is jammed full of vintage clothing, western wear, and costumes.
  • And no more funky monocle attached to a helmet for a heads-up display.
  • Her company recycles old fur into funky patchwork garments.
  • There is something funky going on with the grammar.
  • Next door, the ceramics gallery always has something interesting going on, from lush tableware to funky pots.
British Dictionary definitions for funky


adjective (informal) funkier, funkiest
(of music) passionate, soulful; of or pertaining to funk
authentic; earthy
stylish and exciting; cool: funky jeans
Word Origin
C20: from funk², perhaps alluding to music that was smelly, that is, earthy (like the early blues)


adjective funkier, funkiest
(slang, mainly US) evil-smelling; foul
Word Origin
C18: from funk²
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 funky

1784, "old, musty," in reference to cheeses, then "repulsive," from funk (n.2) + -y (2). It began to develop an approving sense in jazz slang c.1900, probably on the notion of "earthy, strong, deeply felt." Funky also was used early 20c. by white writers in reference to body odor allegedly peculiar to blacks. The word reached wider popularity c.1954 (e.g. definition in "Time" magazine, Nov. 8, 1954) and in the 1960s acquired a broad slang sense of "fine, stylish, excellent."

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


  1. Repulsive; malodorous; stinking: What a stinking, dirty, funky bitch she was/ The Baths, though, are funky enough without booze (1784+)
  2. In the style of the blues; earthy; simple yet compelling, with a strong beat and powerful bass guitar: He has combined a basically funky sound with experimentation/ the funky-butt tune high wide an' lonesome (1954+ Black musicians)
  3. Excellent; effective; cool: He wanted to get down and get funky/ There's a funkyass biker after my own heart (late 1960s+)
  4. Old-fashioned; quaintly out-of-date; having a nostalgic appeal: for those of you who are not familiar with its funky splendor/ my love for funky Forties clothes (1960s+)
  5. Pleasantly eccentric or unconventional; offbeat (1960s+)
  6. Deviant; kinky: That guy's a little too funky for my taste
  7. Highly emotional; lacking affective restraint: He hints that it may have its funky moments (1960s+)

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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funky in Technology

Said of something that functions, but in a slightly strange, klugey way. It does the job and would be difficult to change, so its obvious non-optimality is left alone. Often used to describe interfaces. The more bugs something has that nobody has bothered to fix because workarounds are easier, the funkier it is. TECO and UUCP are funky. The Intel i860's exception handling is extraordinarily funky. Most standards acquire funkiness as they age. "The new mailer is installed, but is still somewhat funky; if it bounces your mail for no reason, try resubmitting it." "This UART is pretty funky. The data ready line is active-high in interrupt mode and active-low in DMA mode."
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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