spunk

spunk

[spuhngk]
noun
1.
pluck; spirit; mettle.
2.
touchwood, tinder, or punk.

Origin:
1530–40; blend of spark1 and obsolete funk spark, touchwood (cognate with Dutch vonk, German Funke)

spunkless, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
spunk (spʌŋk)
 
n
1.  informal courage or spirit
2.  (Brit) a slang word for semen
3.  touchwood or tinder, esp originally made from various spongy types of fungus
4.  informal (Austral), (NZ) a person, esp male, who is sexually attractive
 
[C16 (in the sense: a spark): from Scottish Gaelic spong tinder, sponge, from Latin spongia sponge]
 
usage  The second sense of this word was formerly considered to be taboo, and it was labelled as such in previous editions of Collins English Dictionary. However, it has now become acceptable in speech, although some older or more conservative people may object to its use
 
'spunky
 
adj
 
'spunkily
 
adv

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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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

spunk
1536, "a spark," Scottish, from Gaelic spong "tinder, pith, sponge," from L. spongia (see sponge). The sense of "courage, pluck, mettle" is first attested 1773. A similar sense evolution took place in cognate Ir. sponnc "sponge, tinder, spark, courage, spunk." Vulgar slang
sense of "seminal fluid" is recorded from c.1888. Spunky "courageous, spirited" is recorded from 1786.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

spunk definition

[spəŋk]
  1. n.
    courage. : Show some spunk. Get in there and stand up for your rights.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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