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See more synonyms for junker on Thesaurus.com
noun Slang.
  1. a car that is old, worn out, or in bad enough repair to be scrapped.
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Origin of junker

1880–85, Americanism, for an earlier sense; junk1 + -er1


[yoo ng-ker]
  1. a member of a class of aristocratic landholders, especially in East Prussia, strongly devoted to militarism and authoritarianism, from among whom the German military forces recruited a large number of its officers.
  2. a young German, especially Prussian, nobleman.
  3. a German official or military officer who is narrow-minded, haughty, and overbearing.
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Origin of Junker

1545–55; < German; Old High German junchērro, equivalent to junc young + hērro Herr


  1. any old or discarded material, as metal, paper, or rags.
  2. anything that is regarded as worthless, meaningless, or contemptible; trash.
  3. old cable or cordage used when untwisted for making gaskets, swabs, oakum, etc.
  4. Nautical Slang. salt junk.
  5. Baseball Slang. relatively slow, unorthodox pitches that are deceptive to the batter in movement or pace, as knuckleballs or forkballs.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cast aside as junk; discard as no longer of use; scrap.
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  1. cheap, worthless, unwanted, or trashy.
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Origin of junk1

First recorded in 1480–90; earlier jonke, of uncertain origin


See more synonyms for junk on Thesaurus.com
1, 2. rubbish, litter, debris, refuse.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for junker

Historical Examples

  • Have at it, Junker, and let us see if you can leave your mark upon it!'

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • The Junker was received in the burgomaster's house by Barbara.

  • "Junker von Dornburg," he repeated, shaking his waving locks.

  • It didn't look amiss, but the heat, Junker, the heat spoiled all pleasure.

  • Profit by the darkness, Junker, and keep on till you have the Spaniards behind you.

British Dictionary definitions for junker


  1. history any of the aristocratic landowners of Prussia who were devoted to maintaining their identity and extensive social and political privileges
  2. an arrogant, narrow-minded, and tyrannical German army officer or official
  3. (formerly) a young German nobleman
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Derived FormsJunkerdom, nounJunkerism, noun

Word Origin

C16: from German, from Old High German junchērro young lord, from junc young + hērro master, lord


  1. discarded or secondhand objects, etc, collectively
  2. informal
    1. rubbish generally
    2. nonsensethe play was absolute junk
  3. slang any narcotic drug, esp heroin
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  1. (tr) informal to discard as junk; scrap
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Word Origin

C15 jonke old useless rope


  1. a sailing vessel used in Chinese waters and characterized by a very high poop, flat bottom, and square sails supported by battens
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Word Origin

C17: from Portuguese junco, from Javanese jon; related to Dutch jonk
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 junker


"young German noble," 1550s, from German Junker, from Old High German juncherro, literally "young lord," from junc "young" (see young) + herro "lord" (see Herr). Pejorative sense of "reactionary younger member of the Prussian aristocracy" (1865) dates from Bismarck's domestic policy.

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1803, "to cut off in lumps," from junk (n.1). The meaning "to throw away as trash, to scrap" is from 1908. Related: Junked; junking.

New settlers (who should always be here as early in the spring as possible) begin to cut down the wood where they intend to erect their first house. As the trees are cut the branches are to be lopped off, and the trunks cut into lengths of 12 or 14 feet. This operation they call junking them; if they are not junked before fire is applied, they are much worse to junk afterwards. [letter dated Charlotte Town, Nov. 29, 1820, in "A Series of Letters Descriptive of Prince Edward Island," 1822]
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"worthless stuff," mid-14c., junke "old cable or rope" (nautical), of uncertain origin, perhaps from Old French junc "rush, reed," also used figuratively as a type of something of little value, from Latin iuncus "rush, reed" (but OED finds "no evidence of connexion"). Nautical use extended to "old refuse from boats and ships" (1842), then to "old or discarded articles of any kind" (1884). Junk food is from 1971; junk art is from 1966; junk mail first attested 1954.

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"Chinese sailing ship," 1610s, from Portuguese junco, from Malay jong "ship, large boat" (13c.), probably from Javanese djong.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper