adjective, won·ki·er, won·ki·est.

British Slang.
  1. shaky, groggy, or unsteady.
  2. unreliable; not trustworthy.
Slang. stupid; boring; unattractive.

Origin of wonky

1920–25; perhaps variant of dial. wanky, equivalent to wank(le) (Middle English wankel, Old English wancol; see wench) + -y1; def. 1 probably represents a different word (see wonk)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wonky

Contemporary Examples of wonky

Historical Examples of wonky

  • He straightened his back more, making it pop and gave her his devilish grin, the one where his wonky eyebrow went up and down.


    Cory Doctorow

British Dictionary definitions for wonky


adjective -kier or -kiest British informal

shaky or unsteady
not in correct alignment; askew
liable to break down or develop a fault

Word Origin for wonky

C20: variant of dialect wanky, from Old English wancol
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 wonky

"shaky, groggy, unstable," 1919, of unknown origin. Cf. German prefix wankel-, which has a similar sense. Or perhaps from surviving dialectal words based on Old English wancol "shaky, tottering" (see wench).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper