punk

1
[puhngk]

noun

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.

Nearby words

  1. punjab,
  2. punjab states,
  3. punjabi,
  4. punji,
  5. punji stake,
  6. punk rock,
  7. punka,
  8. punkah,
  9. punker,
  10. punkie

Origin of punk

1
An Americanism dating back to 1680–90; origin uncertain

punk

2
[puhngk]

noun

Slang.
  1. something or someone worthless or unimportant.
  2. a young ruffian; hoodlum.
  3. an inexperienced youth.
  4. a young male partner of a homosexual.
  5. an apprentice, especially in the building trades.
  6. Prison Slang.a boy.
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.

adjective

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 punk

2
First recorded in 1590–1600; of obscure origin; the sense development is apparently “prostitute” > “catamite” > “hoodlum”; the adj. “poor in quality” (1896) is unclearly derived and perhaps a distinct word

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for punk


British Dictionary definitions for punk

punk

1

noun

  1. a youth movement of the late 1970s, characterized by anti-Establishment slogans and outrageous clothes and hairstyles
  2. an adherent of punk
  3. short for punk rock
  4. (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

adjective

inferior, rotten, or worthless
Derived Formspunkish, adjective

Word Origin for punk

C16: via Polari from Spanish pu (n) ta prostitute, pu (n) to male prostitute

noun

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 for punk

C18: of uncertain origin

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 punk
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for punk

punk

A type of rock 'n' roll with loud, energetic music and often harsh lyrics criticizing traditional society and culture. It was named after the punks, an anarchistic youth movement that surfaced in Great Britain in the 1970s.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.