- a small North American mammal, Mephitis mephitis, of the weasel family, having a black coat with a white, V-shaped stripe on the back, and ejecting a fetid odor when alarmed or attacked.
- any of several related or similar animals.Compare hog-nosed skunk, spotted skunk.
- Informal. a thoroughly contemptible person.
- U.S. Navy Slang. an unidentified ship or target.
- Slang. to defeat thoroughly in a game, especially while keeping an opponent from scoring: The team skunked the favorites in the crucial game.
Origin of skunk
Examples from the Web for skunk
The army met the stone-throwing with a fecal-smelling concoction called "skunk" and later with tear gas.After Victory, Palestinian Village Runs Into A Wall
April 2, 2013
Was the occupant a rat or a skunk, and if so, what was he going to do?
Of course the puppy barked; of course the skunk did not like it.
Why, there are a whole lot of skunk farms all over the Northern States.
Because I've got a whole lot of respect for the skunk family.
The Pole-cat or Skunk is about the size of a kitten eight months old.The History of Louisiana
Le Page Du Pratz
- any of various American musteline mammals of the subfamily Mephitinae, esp Mephitis mephitis (striped skunk), typically having a black and white coat and bushy tail: they eject an unpleasant-smelling fluid from the anal gland when attacked
- informal a despicable person
- slang a strain of cannabis smoked for its exceptionally powerful psychoactive properties
- (tr) US and Canadian slang to defeat overwhelmingly in a game
Word Origin and History for skunk
1630s, squunck, from a southern New England Algonquian language (probably Abenaki) seganku, from Proto-Algonquian */šeka:kwa/, from */šek-/ "to urinate" + */-a:kw/ "fox." As an insult, attested from 1841. Skunk cabbage is attested from 1751; earlier skunkweed (1738).
"to completely defeat (in a game), to shut out from scoring," 1831, from skunk (n.). Related: Skunked; skunking.