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[kluhng-ker] /ˈklʌŋ kər/
noun, Informal.
something worthless or inferior.
Also, klunker. an old, worn-out vehicle or machine, especially a car.
clunk (def 4).
Origin of clunker
1940-45, Americanism; clunk + -er1; cf. clinker3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for clunker


noun (informal)
(mainly US) a dilapidated old car or other machine
something that fails: the novel's last line is a clunker
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 clunker

"anything inferior," 1940s, agent noun from clunk (v.), probably in imitation of the sounds made by old machinery. Specific sense of "old car" was in use by 1951 (clunk in the sense "old worn-out machine" is from 1940s).

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



  1. Anything inferior; lemon, turkey: His last clunker was Lolly Madonna (1940s+)
  2. An old, worn-out machine, esp a car; clunk, jalopy: let in someone in an old clunker with a broken muffler and a fuming exhaust (1950s+)
  3. clumsy person, esp an unskillful athlete; duffer, hacker: Tell one of those clunkers what a great stroke he has (1940s+)
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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