- any prepared substance, usually in stick form, that will smolder and can be used to light fireworks, fuses, etc.
- dry, decayed wood that can be used as tinder.
- a spongy substance derived from fungi; amadou; touchwood.
Origin of punk1
- something or someone worthless or unimportant.
- a young ruffian; hoodlum.
- an inexperienced youth.
- a young male partner of a homosexual.
- an apprentice, especially in the building trades.
- Prison Slang.a boy.
- punk rock.
- a style or movement characterized by the adoption of aggressively unconventional and often bizarre or shocking clothing, hairstyles, makeup, etc., and the defiance of social norms of behavior, usually associated with punk rock musicians and fans.
- a punker.
- Archaic. a prostitute.
- Informal. poor in quality or condition.
- of, relating to, or characteristic of punk rock: a punk band.
- pertaining to, characteristic of, or adopting punk styles: punk youths; punk hairstyles in various colors.
Origin of punk2
Related Wordsthug, bully, ruffian, troublemaker, delinquent, mobster, goon, hooligan, rowdy, gangster, criminal, hood, rioter
Examples from the Web for punk
Legs McNeil, of Punk magazine fame, once called him “cute” and “charming.”‘All Good Cretins Go to Heaven’: Dee Dee Ramone’s Twisted Punk Paintings
December 15, 2014
Her new memoir looks back at her life lived by the principles of punk.
And then, at the close of our conversation, her punk roots reared their head like they had never disappeared.
What has the transition to becoming a woman in punk been like?
But the bands that I was initially attracted to in punk rock were anarchist punk bands.
But you certainly were all to the punk in your judgment about that game.Rival Pitchers of Oakdale
Of accursed data, it seems to me that punk is pretty damnable.The Book of the Damned
They were all sizes, but most of them were large, and you need not “punk” them to see if they were ripe.The Flight of Pony Baker
W. D. Howells
And then the truth was driven in that my new rags were punk.Rippling Rhymes
I 'clare I dunno, Mas' Sam, 'thout you got some flints an' punk in your pockets.The Big Brother
George Cary Eggleston
- a youth movement of the late 1970s, characterized by anti-Establishment slogans and outrageous clothes and hairstyles
- an adherent of punk
- short for punk rock
- (as modifier)a punk record
- an inferior, rotten, or worthless person or thing
- worthless articles collectively
- a petty criminal or hoodlum
- obsolete a young male homosexual; catamite
- obsolete a prostitute
- inferior, rotten, or worthless
- dried decayed wood that smoulders when ignited: used as tinder
- any of various other substances that smoulder when ignited, esp one used to light fireworks
Word Origin and History for punk
"inferior, bad," 1896, also as a noun, "something worthless," earlier "rotten wood used as tinder" (1680s), "A word in common use in New England, as well as in the other Northern States and Canada" [Bartlett]; perhaps from Delaware (Algonquian) ponk, literally "dust, powder, ashes;" but Gaelic spong "tinder" also has been suggested (cf. spunk "touchwood, tinder," 1580s).
"worthless person" (especially a young hoodlum), 1917, probably from punk kid "criminal's apprentice," underworld slang first attested 1904 (with overtones of "catamite"). Ultimately from punk (n.1) or else from punk "prostitute, harlot, strumpet," first recorded 1590s, of unknown origin.
For sense shift from "harlot" to "homosexual," cf. gay. By 1923 used generally for "young boy, inexperienced person" (originally in show business, e.g. punk day, circus slang from 1930, "day when children are admitted free"). The verb meaning "to back out of" is from 1920.
The "young criminal" sense is no doubt the inspiration in punk rock first attested 1971 (in a Dave Marsh article in "Creem," referring to Rudi "Question Mark" Martinez); popularized 1976.
If you looked different, people tried to intimidate you all the time. It was the same kind of crap you had to put up with as a hippie, when people started growing long hair. Only now it was the guys with the long hair yelling at you. You think they would have learned something. I had this extreme parrot red hair and I got hassled so much I carried a sign that said "FUCK YOU ASSHOLE." I got so tired of yelling it, I would just hold up the sign. [Bobby Startup, Philadelphia punk DJ, "Philadelphia Weekly," Oct. 10, 2001]
"Chinese incense," 1870, from punk (adj.).