[ fluhngk ]
See synonyms for flunk on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. to fail in a course or examination.

verb (used with object)
  1. to fail to get a passing mark in: to flunk math.

  2. to give a failing grade to; remove (a student) as unqualified from a school or course.

  1. a failure, as in a course or examination.

Verb Phrases
  1. flunk out, to fail and be unable to continue in: He flunked out of flight school.

Origin of flunk

1815–25, Americanism; perhaps akin to flinch1, funk1

Other words from flunk

  • un·flunked, adjective

Words Nearby flunk

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use flunk in a sentence

  • Sometimes he felt that he would enjoy, yes, actually, hearing somebody 223 flunk in one of his classes.

    Princeton Stories | Jesse Lynch Williams
  • Most men do, I say, they usually work at it, study at it good enough so they don't flunk out.

    Warren Commission (2 of 26): Hearings Vol. II (of 15) | The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • I wonder if I could do it; seems 's if I would now, but flesh is weak, and I might flunk, and that would settle it.

    Cap'n Eri | Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • And if I flunk, I have to work in the garden all summer without a single fishing trip.

    Rosemary | Josephine Lawrence

British Dictionary definitions for flunk


/ (flʌŋk) informal, mainly US, Canadian and NZ /

  1. to fail or cause to fail to reach the required standard in (an examination, course, etc)

  2. (intr foll by out) to be dismissed from a school or college through failure in examinations

  1. a low grade below the pass standard

Origin of flunk

C19: perhaps from flinch 1 + funk 1

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