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See more synonyms for funky on Thesaurus.com
adjective, funk·i·er, funk·i·est.
  1. overcome with great fear; terrified.
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Origin of funky1

First recorded in 1830–40; funk1 + -y1


adjective, funk·i·er, funk·i·est.
  1. Jazz. having an earthy, blues-based quality or character.
  2. having an offensive smell; evil-smelling; foul.
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Origin of funky2

An Americanism dating back to 1905–10; funk2 + -y1
Related formsfunk·i·ly, adverbfunk·i·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for funky

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Each knew the other wasn't going to be the first to admit that he was funky.

  • I think Captain Smalley is funky himself about fighting, that's what I think!

    His Big Opportunity

    Amy Le Feuvre

  • He had come up by express purely to relieve my anxiety, knowing how ‘funky’ young gentlemen sometimes were over such trifles.

  • This “funky” seat on horseback looks bad, is particularly unsafe, and is hard to correct when once acquired.

    The Horsewoman

    Alice M. Hayes

  • I see many a country fellow in my time as funky as can be, and sweating, cause why?

British Dictionary definitions for funky


adjective funkier or funkiest informal
  1. (of music) passionate, soulful; of or pertaining to funk
  2. authentic; earthy
  3. stylish and exciting; coolfunky jeans
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Word Origin

C20: from funk ², perhaps alluding to music that was smelly, that is, earthy (like the early blues)


adjective funkier or funkiest
  1. slang, mainly US evil-smelling; foul
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Word Origin

C18: from funk ²
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 funky


1784, "old, musty," in reference to cheeses, then "repulsive," from funk (n.2) + -y (2). It began to develop an approving sense in jazz slang c.1900, probably on the notion of "earthy, strong, deeply felt." Funky also was used early 20c. by white writers in reference to body odor allegedly peculiar to blacks. The word reached wider popularity c.1954 (e.g. definition in "Time" magazine, Nov. 8, 1954) and in the 1960s acquired a broad slang sense of "fine, stylish, excellent."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper