[ dangk ]
/ dæŋk /

adjective, dank·er, dank·est.

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

1350–1400; Middle English probably < Scandinavian; compare dialectal Swedish dänka, Norwegian dynke “to moisten,” cognate with Old Norse dǫkk “water hole”
Related formsdank·ly, adverbdank·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dankness

  • The odour of hot smoke is easily distinguished from the dankness of cold tobacco.

    The Exploits of Juve|Pierre Souvestre and Marcel Allain
  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for dankness


/ (dæŋk) /


(esp of cellars, caves, etc) unpleasantly damp and chilly
Derived Formsdankly, adverbdankness, noun

Word Origin for dank

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

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 Now largely superseded by damp (adj.).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