a person or thing that stinks.
Informal. a mean or despicable person; louse.
Informal. something, especially some form of entertainment, of inferior quality.
Informal. something difficult: a real stinker of a crossword puzzle.
any device emitting an offensive odor, as a stink bomb or stinkpot.
Dialect. any of several large petrels.

Origin of stinker

1600–10; 1920–25 for def 2; stink + -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stinker

Contemporary Examples of stinker

Historical Examples of stinker

  • "That fellow's a stinker," Wick decided, never to change his mind.

    Happy House

    Betsey Riddle, Freifrau von Hutten zum Stolzenberg

  • Bob got a stinker, and poor I received a chancery-suit upon the nob.

  • The crowd had already given Jurgis a name—they called him "he stinker."

    The Jungle

    Upton Sinclair

  • The second stanza (which carries over to the third) of that Ode is what is technically called a 'stinker.'

  • He's always riding Skinny about one thing or another, but Skinny never gets mad and it's a good thing for Stinker, too.

British Dictionary definitions for stinker



a person or thing that stinks
slang a difficult or very unpleasant person or thing
slang something of very poor quality
informal any of several fulmars or related birds that feed on carrion
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 stinker

as a term of abuse (often banteringly), c.1600, agent noun from stink (v.); also in the same sense was stinkard (c.1600).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper