Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

gunk

[guhngk]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun Informal.
  1. any sticky or greasy residue or accumulation: gunk on the oil filter.

Origin of gunk

An Americanism dating back to 1932; originally a trademark name for a degreasing solvent
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gunk

Historical Examples

  • Gunk; a 'take in,' a 'sell'; as a verb, to 'take in,' to cheat.

    English As We Speak It in Ireland

    P. W. Joyce

  • Alive or dead, the gunk was the most powerful desiccant I'd ever heard of.

  • "Gunk" is the poor makeshift that must be employed to indicate it.

    Penrod and Sam

    Booth Tarkington

  • Penrod uttered one half-hearted "Gunk" as he turned in at his own gate.

    Penrod and Sam

    Booth Tarkington

  • I've been fighting this cowlick ever since I've been a kid—stocking caps, gunk, the works.

    The Romantic Analogue

    W.W. Skupeldyckle


British Dictionary definitions for gunk

gunk

noun
  1. informal slimy, oily, or filthy matter

Word Origin

C20: perhaps of imitative origin
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 gunk

n.

1949, "viscous substance," American English, apparently from Gunk, trademark for a thick liquid soap patented 1932 by A.F. Curran Co. of Malden, Mass.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper