Origin of flunk

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


un·flunked, adjective
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British Dictionary definitions for flunk out

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


to fail or cause to fail to reach the required standard in (an examination, course, etc)
(intr foll by out) to be dismissed from a school or college through failure in examinations


a low grade below the pass standard

Word Origin for 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

Idioms and Phrases with flunk out

flunk out


Expel or be expelled from a school because one's work does not meet the required standard. For example, He flunked out of Harvard after just one year. [Slang; early 1800s]


Fail at anything, as in The camera ran out of film so we flunked out as photographers. [Slang; late 1800s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.