skunk

[skuhngk]
noun, plural skunks (especially collectively) skunk.
1.
a small North American mammal, Mephitis mephitis, of the weasel family, having a black coat with a white, V -shaped stripe on the back, and ejecting a fetid odor when alarmed or attacked.
2.
any of several related or similar animals. Compare hog-nosed skunk, spotted skunk.
3.
Informal. a thoroughly contemptible person.
4.
U.S. Navy Slang. an unidentified ship or target.
verb (used with object)
5.
Slang. to defeat thoroughly in a game, especially while keeping an opponent from scoring: The team skunked the favorites in the crucial game.

Origin:
1625–35, Americanism; < the Massachusett reflex of Proto-Algonquian *šeka·kwa (derivative of *šek- urinate + -a·kw fox, foxlike animal

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World English Dictionary
skunk (skʌŋk)
 
n , pl skunks, skunk
1.  any of various American musteline mammals of the subfamily Mephitinae, esp Mephitis mephitis (striped skunk), typically having a black and white coat and bushy tail: they eject an unpleasant-smelling fluid from the anal gland when attacked
2.  informal a despicable person
3.  slang a strain of cannabis smoked for its exceptionally powerful psychoactive properties
 
vb
4.  slang (US), (Canadian) (tr) to defeat overwhelmingly in a game
 
[C17: from Algonquian; compare Abnaki segākw skunk]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

skunk
1634, squunck, from a southern New England Algonquian language (probably Abenaki) seganku, from Proto-Algonquian */eka:kwa/, from */ek-/ "to urinate" + */-a:kw/ "fox." As an insult, attested from 1841. Skunk cabbage is attested from 1751.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

skunk definition


  1. n.
    a mean and hateful person. (See also polecat; stinker.) : Must you be such a skunk in front of my friends?
  2. tv.
    to outwit someone. : That fish skunked me. I thought I caught him for sure this time.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Example sentences
For comic relief, show monkey approaching a skunk and getting sprayed.
If monkey will not approach skunk, feed monkey whiskey so he will relax and go
  up to skunk.
Controlling lawn grubs may reduce skunk damage to lawns.
The typical compound in skunk spray is butyl mercaptan.
Images for skunk
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