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honky-tonk

[hong-kee-tongk, hawng-kee-tawngk] /ˈhɒŋ kiˌtɒŋk, ˈhɔŋ kiˌtɔŋk/
noun
1.
a cheap, noisy, and garish nightclub or dance hall.
adjective
2.
Also, honky-tonky
[hong-kee-tong-kee, hawng-kee-tawng-] /ˈhɒŋ kiˌtɒŋ ki, ˈhɔŋ kiˌtɔŋ-/ (Show IPA)
. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a honky-tonk:
a honky-tonk atmosphere.
3.
characterized by or having a large number of honky-tonks:
the honky-tonk part of town.
4.
Music. noting a style of ragtime piano-playing characterized by a strict two-four or four-four bass, either contrapuntal or chordal, and a melody embellished with chords and syncopated rhythms, typically performed on a piano whose strings have been muffled and given a tinny sound.
verb (used without object)
5.
to visit or frequent honky-tonks.
Origin
1890-1895
1890-95, Americanism; rhyming compound based on honk
Related forms
honky-tonker, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for honky-tonk
  • The first annoying aspect was the interminable wait to board in a honky-tonk souvenir shop setting.
  • So it has been with the music's new traditionalist movement, a shined-up honky-tonk style that is nearly a decade old.
British Dictionary definitions for honky-tonk

honky-tonk

/ˈhɒŋkɪˌtɒŋk/
noun
1.
(US & Canadian, slang)
  1. a cheap disreputable nightclub, bar, etc
  2. (as modifier): a honky-tonk district
2.
a style of ragtime piano-playing, esp on a tinny-sounding piano
3.
a type of country music, usually performed by a small band with electric and steel guitars
4.
(as modifier): honky-tonk music
Word Origin
C19: rhyming compound based on honk
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 honky-tonk
n.

"cheap night club," by 1898, Southern U.S., of unknown origin. As a type of music played in that sort of low saloon, it is attested from 1921.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for honky-tonk

honky-tonk

modifier
  1. Gambling and drinking: wisely emphasizes Brown's down-and-dirty honkytonkin' side
  2. Prostitution: the honky-tonk district
noun
  1. A cheap, usually disreputable saloon and gambling place; joint: rode to my honky-tonk on a bus
  2. A cheap, small-town theater: playin' the sticks, the honky-tonks
  3. A brothel
verb

: his honky-tonking ended, naturally, at Filly's, the urban cowboy saloon

[1894+; origin unknown]


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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Word Value for honky

15
14
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