a simple past tense and the past participle of slink.



verb (used without object), slunk or (Archaic) slank; slunk; slink·ing.

to move or go in a furtive, abject manner, as from fear, cowardice, or shame.
to walk or move in a slow, sinuous, provocative way.

verb (used with object), slunk or (Archaic) slank; slunk; slink·ing.

(especially of cows) to bring forth (young) prematurely.


a prematurely born calf or other animal.


born prematurely: a slink calf.

Origin of slink

before 1150; Middle English slynken (v.), Old English slincan to creep, crawl; cognate with Low German slinken, German schlinken
Related formsslink·ing·ly, adverbout·slink, verb (used with object), out·slunk, out·slink·ing.un·slink·ing, adjective
Can be confusedsling slink

Synonyms for slink Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for slunk

Contemporary Examples of slunk

  • Williams could have slunk off into the shadows in shame, which no doubt many people at the time expected her to do.

  • By sharp contrast, the main contenders in the Labour leadership race have slunk away from the Blair memoir and its prescriptions.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The War Over Blair’s Memoir

    Peter Hoskin

    September 7, 2010

  • Dubya, meanwhile, slunk out of Washington with an approval rating of 22 percent, the least popular president in 70 years.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Revenge of the Bushies

    Samuel P. Jacobs

    August 31, 2010

  • After all that, most would have slunk away for a few months to recuperate on some island somewhere.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Why Hillary Lashed Out

    Tina Brown

    August 12, 2009

Historical Examples of slunk

  • He rose to his feet, muttered something about his time coming, and slunk out.

  • He shut his eyes twice, and slunk sullenly back to his place.

  • After tea I slunk away to the nursery, and sat staring into the fire.

  • White Fang slunk into camp one evening and dropped down with a sigh of content.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • I will not say that he slunk in, but there was an unaccustomed diffidence in his bearing.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for slunk



the past tense and past participle of slink


verb slinks, slinking or slunk

(intr) to move or act in a furtive or cringing manner from or as if from fear, guilt, etc
(intr) to move in a sinuous alluring manner
(tr) (of animals, esp cows) to give birth to prematurely


  1. an animal, esp a calf, born prematurely
  2. (as modifier)slink veal

Word Origin for slink

Old English slincan; related to Middle Low German slinken to shrink, Old Swedish slinka to creep, Danish slunken limp
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 slunk

past tense and past participle of slink (v.).



Old English slincan "to creep, crawl" (of reptiles), from Proto-Germanic *slinkan (cf. Swedish slinka "to glide," Dutch slinken "to shrink, shrivel;" related to sling (v.)). Of persons, attested from late 14c. Related: Slinked; slinking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper