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funk

1
[ fuhngk ]
/ fʌŋk /
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noun
cowering fear; state of great fright or terror.
a dejected mood: He's been in a funk ever since she walked out on him.
verb (used with object)
British. to shrink from; try to shirk: We can only say that the government has funked its responsibility.
verb (used without object)
British. to shrink or quail in fear: He funked at nothing, and could lick every boy in the neighborhood.
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Origin of funk

1
First recorded in 1735–45; originally Oxford University slang; perhaps from early Dutch dialect (in de) fonck “in difficulties;” further origin unknown

OTHER WORDS FROM funk

funker, noun

Other definitions for funk (2 of 3)

funk2
[ fuhngk ]
/ fʌŋk /

noun
Jazz. music having a funky quality: Let's set aside our music exercises for now and get down to some real funk.
a strong, earthy smell; stench: That is some serious funk coming from the compost pile.
the state or quality of being funky.

Origin of funk

2
First recorded in 1615–25; perhaps from North French dialect funquier, funquer “give off smoke,” Old North French fungier, from Vulgar Latin fūmicāre, alteration of Latin fūmigāre fumigate

Other definitions for funk (3 of 3)

Funk
[ foongk, fuhngk ]
/ fʊŋk, fʌŋk /

noun
Cas·i·mir [kaz-uh-meer], /ˈkæz əˌmɪər/, 1884–1967, U.S. biochemist, born in Poland: discovered thiamine, the first vitamin isolated.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use funk in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for funk (1 of 4)

funk1
/ (fʌŋk) informal, mainly British /

noun
Also called: blue funk a state of nervousness, fear, or depression (esp in the phrase in a funk)
a coward
verb
to flinch from (responsibility) through fear
(tr; usually passive) to make afraid

Derived forms of funk

funker, noun

Word Origin for funk

C18: university slang, perhaps related to funk ²

British Dictionary definitions for funk (2 of 4)

funk2
/ (fʌŋk) /

noun
US slang a strong foul odour

Word Origin for funk

C17 (in the sense: tobacco smoke): from funk (vb) to smoke (tobacco), probably of French dialect origin; compare Old French funkier to smoke, from Latin fūmigāre

British Dictionary definitions for funk (3 of 4)

funk3
/ (fʌŋk) /

noun
informal a type of polyrhythmic Black dance music with heavy syncopation

Word Origin for funk

C20: back formation from funky 1

British Dictionary definitions for funk (4 of 4)

Funk
/ (fʌŋk) /

noun
Casimir (ˈkæzɪˌmɪə). 1884–1967, US biochemist, born in Poland: studied and named vitamins
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

Scientific definitions for funk

Funk
[ fŭngk, fōōngk ]
Casimir 1884-1967

Polish-born American biochemist who is credited with the discovery of vitamins. In 1912 he postulated the existence of four organic bases he called vitamines which were necessary for normal health and the prevention of deficiency diseases. He also contributed to the knowledge of the hormones of the pituitary gland and the sex glands.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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