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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 dankness
Historical Examples
  • She went down the worn stairway and came out into the dankness of the street.

    Selina George Madden Martin
  • The breath of primroses and violets mingled with the dankness of stagnant water.

    The Romance of Leonardo da Vinci

    Dmitry Sergeyevich Merezhkovsky
  • The silk of the curls on the forehead had a dankness and lifelessness which almost made her catch her breath again.

    Robin Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The odour of hot smoke is easily distinguished from the dankness of cold tobacco.

    The Exploits of Juve

    Pierre Souvestre and Marcel Allain
British Dictionary definitions for dankness


(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 dankness



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 Now largely superseded by damp (adj.).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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