1A cat-sized American mammal of the weasel family, with distinctive black-and-white striped fur. When threatened it squirts a fine spray of foul-smelling irritant liquid from its anal glands towards its attacker.
Mephitis and other genera, family Mustelidae: several species, in particular the striped skunk (M. mephitis)
- 1.1The fur of the skunk.
2 informal, derogatory A contemptible person.
scoundrel, villain, rogue, rascal, brute, animal, weasel, snake, monster, ogre, wretch, devil, good-for-nothing, reprobate, wrongdoer, evil-doer
- ‘he'd run up a massive phone bill and hadn't paid—the skunk’
3 informalshort for "skunkweed"
transitive verb[with object]North American
1 informal Defeat (someone) overwhelmingly in a game or contest, especially by preventing them from scoring at all.
defeat, beat, best, get the better of, gain the advantage over, prevail over, triumph over, gain a victory over, trounce, rout, thrash, drub, vanquish, conquer, master, overcome, overwhelm, overpower, overthrow, crush, subdue, subjugate
- ‘I knew he was a good fisherman, but I didn't expect him to skunk you’
- ‘After that, we went to play a round of pool so that I could redeem myself, and we both thought for a bit that I was going to skunk him.’
- ‘Been skunked a few times this year, even though you used your favorite rod, went to your super-secret spot and wore your lucky underwear?’
- ‘If weather skunked our 14-day road trip, we would at least hit the most spectacular ski area in Canada.’
- ‘Just as Lola was about to skunk Sherice with her peg points the doorbell rang.’
- ‘We don't always get skunked on these expeditions.’
- ‘When I got to the gate I found all of the outlets already in use - skunked again!’
2 informal, dated Fail to pay (a bill or creditor)
- ‘he made a practice of skunking hotels’
Mid 17th century from Abnaki segankw; variants occur in many other North American Indian dialects.