• synonyms


[kongk, kawngk]Slang.
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  1. the head.
  2. a blow on the head.
  3. British. the nose.
verb (used with object)
  1. to hit or strike on the head.

Origin of conk1

First recorded in 1805–15; of obscure origin


[kongk, kawngk]
verb (used without object) Slang.
  1. to break or fail, as a machine or engine (often followed by out): The engine conked out halfway there.
  2. to slow down or stop; lose energy (often followed by out).
  3. to go to sleep (usually followed by off or out).
  4. to lose consciousness; faint (usually followed by out).
  5. to die (usually followed by out).

Origin of conk2

First recorded in 1915–20; perhaps of imitative orig.


[kongk, kawngk]Slang.
  1. a method of chemically straightening the hair.
  2. a hairstyle in which the hair has been chemically straightened and sometimes set into waves.
verb (used with object)
  1. to straighten (kinky hair) by the use of chemicals: to have one's hair conked.
Also process.

Origin of conk4

probably shortening and alteration of congolene, alleged to be the name of a hair straightener made from Congo copal
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for conked

Historical Examples

  • "Poor devil, he's conked out—couldn't stand the gaff," he remarked, half-regretfully.

    Skylark Three

    Edward Elmer Smith

  • You know you may feel pretty miserable, but nobody's conked out with this stuff yet.

    The Plague

    Teddy Keller

  • A two-gallon jar of extra-special detergent, used only for laces, conked him and smashed on the floor before him.

    The Ambulance Made Two Trips

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

  • Schwenky put the Captain down, conked him with one massive fist to make sure he stayed out, then stood there, waiting.

    The Hell Ship

    Raymond Alfred Palmer

  • The motor complained for a few minutes, then coughed and conked out completely.

    A Yankee Flier in Italy

    Rutherford G. Montgomery

British Dictionary definitions for conked


  1. to strike (someone) a blow, esp on the head or nose
  1. a punch or blow, esp on the head or nose
  2. the head or (esp Brit and NZ) the nose

Word Origin

C19: probably changed from conch
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

Word Origin and History for conked



as in conk out, 1918, coined by World War I airmen, perhaps in imitation of the sound of a stalling motor, reinforced by conk (v.) "hit on the head," originally "punch in the nose" (1821), from conk (n.), slang for "nose" (1812), perhaps from fancied resemblance to a conch (pronounced "conk") shell.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper