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[dangk] /dæŋk/
adjective, danker, dankest.
unpleasantly moist or humid; damp and, often, chilly:
a dank cellar.
Slang. (of marijuana) excellent; high quality:
There was plenty of booze and dank weed at the party.
Slang. (of an Internet meme) passé or clichéd; out of touch; having missed the cultural Zeitgeist.
Slang. high-quality marijuana:
We were just chilling out and smoking dank together.
Origin of dank
dialectal Swedish
1350-1400; Middle English probably < Scandinavian; compare dialectal Swedish dänka, Norwegian dynke “to moisten,” cognate with Old Norse dǫkk “water hole”
Related forms
dankly, adverb
dankness, noun
1. wet, clammy, muggy, sticky, soggy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dank
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At one time it was a universal forest: thick, dark, and dank.

  • She smiled, put back her hand and brushed the dank hair from his moist brow.

  • Her dress had been rich; it was now torn and damp, and clung in dank folds to her limbs.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
  • They lay in the dank and chilly dawn as though death had reaped the field.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • It was dank and still, dim and solemn within such a forest cavern.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
British Dictionary definitions for dank


(esp of cellars, caves, etc) unpleasantly damp and chilly
Derived Forms
dankly, adverb
dankness, noun
Word Origin
C14: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish dank marshy spot
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 dank

c.1400, earlier as a verb (early 14c.), now obsolete, meaning "to moisten," used of mists, dews, etc. Perhaps from Scandinavian (cf. Swedish dank "moist place," dänka "to moisten") or German (cf. Middle High German damph, Dutch damp "vapor"). Now largely superseded by damp (adj.). Related: Dankness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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