Punk | Definition of Punk by Merriam-Webster


noun (1)
\ ˈpəŋk How to pronounce punk (audio) \
plural punks

Definition of punk

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a usually petty gangster, hoodlum, or ruffian
2a : punk rock
b : a punk rock musician
c : one who affects punk styles
3a : a young inexperienced person : beginner, novice especially : a young man
b slang : a young man used as a sexual partner by another man especially in a prison
4 [probably partly from punk entry 3] : nonsense, foolishness
5 archaic : prostitute



Definition of punk (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : of or relating to punk rock
b : relating to or being a style (as of dress or hair) inspired by punk rock
2 : very poor : inferior played a punk game
3 : being in poor health said that she was feeling punk


noun (2)

Definition of punk (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : wood so decayed as to be dry, crumbly, and useful for tinder
2 : a preparation (as of a stick of coated wood) that burns slowly and is used to ignite fuses especially of fireworks

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from punk


punkish \ ˈpəŋ-​kish How to pronounce punk (audio) \ adjective

Examples of punk in a Sentence

Adjective she plays a punk game of tennis, so you won't have any trouble beating her the acting in the movie ranged all the way from poor to punk

First Known Use of punk

Noun (1)

circa 1575, in the meaning defined at sense 5


1896, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun (2)

1678, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for punk

Noun (1)

origin unknown

Noun (2)

perhaps alteration of spunk

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about punk

Statistics for punk

Cite this Entry

Punk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/punk. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for punk


\ ˈpəŋk How to pronounce punk (audio) \

Kids Definition of punk

: a rude and violent young man

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on punk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for punk

Britannica English: Translation of punk for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about punk

Comments on punk

What made you want to look up punk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!