Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

junk1

[juhngk]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. any old or discarded material, as metal, paper, or rags.
  2. anything that is regarded as worthless, meaningless, or contemptible; trash.
  3. old cable or cordage used when untwisted for making gaskets, swabs, oakum, etc.
  4. Nautical Slang. salt junk.
  5. Baseball Slang. relatively slow, unorthodox pitches that are deceptive to the batter in movement or pace, as knuckleballs or forkballs.
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. to cast aside as junk; discard as no longer of use; scrap.
Show More
adjective
  1. cheap, worthless, unwanted, or trashy.
Show More

Origin of junk1

First recorded in 1480–90; earlier jonke, of uncertain origin

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1, 2. rubbish, litter, debris, refuse.

junk2

[juhngk]
noun
  1. a seagoing ship with a traditional Chinese design and used primarily in Chinese waters, having square sails spread by battens, a high stern, and usually a flat bottom.
Show More

Origin of junk2

1545–55; < Portuguese junco a kind of sailing vessel < Malay jong, said to be < dialectal Chinese (Xiamen) chûn; compare Guangdong dial. syùhn, Chinese chuán

junk3

[juhngk]
noun Slang.
  1. narcotics, especially heroin.
  2. the external genitals: I kicked him in the junk.
Show More

Origin of junk3

First recorded in 1920–25; perhaps special use of junk1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for junk

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for junk

junk1

noun
  1. discarded or secondhand objects, etc, collectively
  2. informal
    1. rubbish generally
    2. nonsensethe play was absolute junk
  3. slang any narcotic drug, esp heroin
Show More
verb
  1. (tr) informal to discard as junk; scrap
Show More

Word Origin

C15 jonke old useless rope

junk2

noun
  1. a sailing vessel used in Chinese waters and characterized by a very high poop, flat bottom, and square sails supported by battens
Show More

Word Origin

C17: from Portuguese junco, from Javanese jon; related to Dutch jonk
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 junk

n.1

"worthless stuff," mid-14c., junke "old cable or rope" (nautical), of uncertain origin, perhaps from Old French junc "rush, reed," also used figuratively as a type of something of little value, from Latin iuncus "rush, reed" (but OED finds "no evidence of connexion"). Nautical use extended to "old refuse from boats and ships" (1842), then to "old or discarded articles of any kind" (1884). Junk food is from 1971; junk art is from 1966; junk mail first attested 1954.

Show More

n.2

"Chinese sailing ship," 1610s, from Portuguese junco, from Malay jong "ship, large boat" (13c.), probably from Javanese djong.

Show More

v.

1803, "to cut off in lumps," from junk (n.1). The meaning "to throw away as trash, to scrap" is from 1908. Related: Junked; junking.

New settlers (who should always be here as early in the spring as possible) begin to cut down the wood where they intend to erect their first house. As the trees are cut the branches are to be lopped off, and the trunks cut into lengths of 12 or 14 feet. This operation they call junking them; if they are not junked before fire is applied, they are much worse to junk afterwards. [letter dated Charlotte Town, Nov. 29, 1820, in "A Series of Letters Descriptive of Prince Edward Island," 1822]
Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper