adjective, dank·er, dank·est.
THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?
Origin of dank
OTHER WORDS FROM dankdankly, adverbdankness, noun
Words nearby dank
ABOUT THIS WORD
What else does dank mean?
When not describing something as “moist” and “humid” like a basement, dank is a slang term describing something as “excellent,” especially marijuana.
Dank can also refer to memes that are played out or extremely weird.
Where did the term dank come from?
In the 1980s, dank emerged as slang for something “excellent.” Slang has a way of making negative words positive (e.g., bad, sick, ill, or wicked). In the 1990s, dank especially came to characterize high-quality marijuana, the usage perhaps additionally influenced by the fact that marijuana can be pungent and moist.
Dank meme came about in 2013 on internet message boards like 4chan and Reddit dedicated to making parodies of existing memes and mocking meme culture in general. The use of dank here is ironic, as so-called dank memes are so bad (or downright strange) that they’re somehow good.
How to use the term dank
Basements can be dank. So can bada**es and bud. Dank-a** is a fairly common intensified form.
Stocked up on some dank coffee while I was out in Seattle omg my mornings just got 10x better 😭
— ION (@ion_trapndub) September 12, 2018
OH boi They doing friday fortnite for un famous people you just need to qualify so u can compete with all the pros that's dank
— JackShorey (@Jackshorey) June 3, 2019
Dank is often specifically used to describe food as “very delicious” or a person as “sexy” and “awesome.”
Shit was so dank pic.twitter.com/RNDlLbExQZ
— StinkyPeeete (@StinkyPeeete) January 22, 2020
When it comes to marijuana, dank can both describe it and refer to the weed itself. And when it comes to memes, dank can both characterize a meme past its prime or one that is just so bizarre that it’s actually funny.
— Dank Meme Bot (@DankMemesBot420) January 22, 2020
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
Example sentences from the Web for dank
Neither do “dampish,” “dank” or “wettish,” which are the other alternatives offered by Merriam-Webster.Hate the word ‘moist’? Get over it — the alternatives are worse.|Emily Heil|January 19, 2021|Washington Post
Often the start and finish of portages happen in dank, mosquito-infested wetlands that no one enjoys.How (and Why) to Execute the Perfect Canoe Portage|Alex Hutchinson|September 9, 2020|Outside Online
She suffered no more beatings—just solitary confinement in an underground cell always dark and dank and cockroach-infested.Escaping Assad’s Rape Prisons: A Survivor Tells Her Story|Jamie Dettmer|October 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST
It was dark, dank, the walls charcoal-colored, the feeling of a cave.Fighting Back With Faith: Inside the Yezidis’ Iraqi Temple|Michael Luongo|August 21, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Bodies in mortuaries, bodies in ponds, bodies under houses, and in dank boarding houses.Death Became Her: Molly Lefebure’s Wartime Years of Murder and Suicide|Tim Teeman|April 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Next thing he knows, the rebel is waking up in a dank cave centuries later.‘Sleepy Hollow’ Is TV’s Craziest, Most Over-the-Top New Show ... And You Should Watch It|Amy Zimmerman|October 8, 2013|DAILY BEAST
“It was dark and dank and the children were rarely, if ever, taken outside,” Wright notes.15 Scientology Revelations From Lawrence Wright’s ‘Going Clear’|The Daily Beast|January 16, 2013|DAILY BEAST
She sank back on the dank floor of the cave and buried her face in her dirt-stained hands.The Outdoor Girls in the Saddle|Laura Lee Hope
The dank vapours of Covent Garden are sweet in the nostrils of many a cockney reveller.A Cursory History of Swearing|Julian Sharman
He charged up the canyon, fumbling in his parka for more shells, and crashed through dank high brush into a shadowy clearing.Restricted Tool|Malcolm B. Morehart
Barnacles had fastened upon the hull, and long tresses of green, dank seaweed hung trailing from the iron paddle-wheels.The Boys of '61|Charles Carleton Coffin.
His face, which bore traces of more than common beauty, was now white and pinched; his hair hung dank about his forehead.