adjective Southern U.S. (chiefly Kentucky ). (of tobacco)

rotten; moldy.

Origin of funked

1890–95; funk punk (noun) (Middle English fonk; cognate with Dutch vonk, German Funke) + -ed3




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)

to be afraid of.
to frighten.
to shrink from; try to shirk.

verb (used without object)

to shrink or quail in fear.

Origin of funk

1735–45; perhaps < early Dutch dialect fonck
Related formsfunk·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for funked

Historical Examples of funked

  • At the eviction a man had funked, frightened out of his seven senses.

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

  • Some of my green men had funked just at the crucial moment, and I had all but shot one.

    Four Days

    Hetty Hemenway

  • "No, I had a chance and I—funked it," said Harry, slow in speech and slow in smile.

    Tristram of Blent

    Anthony Hope

  • You oughtn't to have funked telling your mother what you meant to do.


    John Galsworthy

  • But Sturton knew, the delicate Bagshaw also, that Rawlings had funked.

    King of Ranleigh

    F. S. (Frederick Sadlier) Brereton

British Dictionary definitions for funked




Also called: blue funk a state of nervousness, fear, or depression (esp in the phrase in a funk)
a coward


to flinch from (responsibility) through fear
(tr; usually passive) to make afraid
Derived Formsfunker, noun

Word Origin for funk

C18: university slang, perhaps related to funk ²




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




informal a type of polyrhythmic Black dance music with heavy syncopation

Word Origin for funk

C20: back formation from funky 1



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

Word Origin and History for funked



"depression, ill-humor," 1743, probably originally Scottish and northern English; earlier as a verb, "panic, fail through panic," (1737), said to be 17c. Oxford University slang, perhaps from Flemish fonck "perturbation, agitation, distress," possibly related to Old French funicle "wild, mad."



"bad smell," 1620s, from dialectal French funkière "smoke," from Old French fungier "give off smoke; fill with smoke," from Latin fumigare "to smoke" (see fume (n.)). In reference to a style of music, it is first attested 1959, a back-formation from funky.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

funked in Medicine


[fŭngk, fōōngk]Casimir 1884-1967

Polish-born American biochemist whose research of deficiency diseases led to the discovery of vitamins, which he named in 1912.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

funked in Science


[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.