- any of several bushy-tailed carnivores (family Mustelidae) of the New World, about the size of a house cat: it has glossy black fur, usually with white stripes or spots down the back, and ejects a foul-smelling, musky liquid when disturbed or frightened
- its fur
- Informal a despicable, offensive person
Origin of skunk; from New England Algonquian cognate of Abenaki segôgw
- a. Any of several small omnivorous mammals of the Americas belonging to the family Mephitidae, having a bushy tail and black fur with white markings and ejecting a foul-smelling oily liquid from glands near the anus when threatened. Also called polecat.b. The glossy black and white fur of any of these mammals.
- Slang A person regarded as obnoxious or despicable.
- Slang Marijuana.
transitive verbskunked, skunk·ing, skunks Slang
- To spray with the foul-smelling liquid of a skunk: The dog got skunked.
- a. To defeat overwhelmingly, especially by keeping from scoring.b. To cause to have no success trying to catch fish. Used in the passive.
- a. To cheat (someone).b. To fail to pay (an amount due).
Origin of skunkOf Massachusett origin, ultimately from Proto-Algonquian *šeka·kwa : *šek-, urine + *-a·kw, fox, bushy-tailed animal.
- Any of various small mammals, of the family Mephitidae, native to North and Central America, having a glossy black with a white coat and two musk glands at the base of the tail for emitting a noxious smell as a defensive measure.
- (slang) A despicable person.
- (slang) Short for skunkweed (marijuana).
- (slang) A walkover victory in sports or board games, as when the opposing side is unable to score. Compare shutout.
- (cribbage) A win by 30 or more points.
(third-person singular simple present skunks, present participle skunking, simple past and past participle skunked)
- To defeat so badly as to prevent any opposing points.
- I skunked him at cards.
- We fished all day but the lake skunked us.
- (cribbage) To win by 30 or more points.
- (intransitive, of beer) to go bad, to spoil
At first spelt squunck, from the Abenaki name for the animal, segôgw, segonku (“he who squirts / urinates”), from Proto-Algonquian *šeka·kwa, from *šek- (“to urinate”) (whence Abenaki seg-) + *(w)a·kw(ehsa) (“fox”) (whence Abenaki (w)ôkw(ses)).