• (British) IPA: /pʌŋk/
  • (America) IPA: /pəŋk/


  1. (countable) A person used for sex, particularly:
    1. (now historical & rare) Synonym of prostitute#English|prostitute: a person paid for sex. [1575]
      • c. 1603–1604, William Shakespeare, “Measvre for Measure”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals):
        , Act V, Scene i:
        My lord, she may be a punk; for many of them are neither maid, widow, nor wife.
      • 1663: Samuel Butler, Hudibras:
        ...And made them fight, like mad or drunk,
        For Dame Religion, as for punk...
      • 1936, Anthony Bertram, Like the Phoenix:
        However, terrible as it may seem to the tall maiden sisters of J.P.'s in Queen Anne houses with walled vegetable gardens, this courtesan, strumpet, harlot, whore, punk, fille de joie, street-walker, this trollop, this trull, this baggage, this hussy, this drab, skit, rig, quean, mopsy, demirep, demimondaine, this wanton, this fornicatress, this doxy, this concubine, this frail sister, this poor Queenie—did actually solicit me, did actually say 'coming home to-night, dearie' and my soul was not blasted enough to call a policeman.
    2. (LGBT, obsolete) Synonym of catamite#English|catamite: a boy or younger man used by an older as a (usually passive) homosexual partner. [1698]
      • 1698, Womens Complaint to Venus:
        The Beaus...
        At night make a Punk of him that's first drunk.
    3. (chiefly US, LGBT) Synonym of bottom#English|bottom: any passive or effeminate homosexual male.
    4. (US, LGBT, slang) A boy who accompanies a hobo, especially as used for sex. [1893]
      • 1973, Barry Broadfoot, Ten Lost Years, 1929-1939: Memories of Canadians who survived the Depression, p. 137:
        They'd pick up youngsters as, well—as their playthings. These kids were called punks.
    5. (US, LGBT, pejorative, now chiefly AAVE) Synonym of faggot#English|faggot: any male homosexual. [1933]
    6. (US, LGBT, prison slang) Synonym of bitch#English|bitch: a man forced or coerced into a homosexual relationship, especially in prison. [1946]
      • 1946, Mezz Mezzrow & al., Really the Blues, Payback Press 1999, p. 15:
        A punk, if you want it in plain English, is a boy with smooth skin who takes the place of a woman in a jailbird's love life.
      • 2001, Joseph T. Hallinan, Going Up the River: Travels in a Prison Nation, p. 106:
        If he is small and weak, he may decide to become a ‘punk’ and allow himself to be raped by the inmate most likely to protect him.
      Because he was so weak, Vinny soon became Tony's punk.
  2. (countable, US slang) A worthless person, particularly: [1904]
    • 1933, Ernest Hemingway, "Winner Take Nothing", p. 94:
      This fellow was just a punk... a nobody.
    1. (jocular, rare) Synonym of fellow#English|fellow: any person, especially a male comrade. [1904]
    2. (pejorative) A petty criminal, especially a juvenile delinquent. [1908]
      • 1908 October 18, New York Times, p. 9:
        He said the prisoner called them ‘punk’... He admitted that he shouted ‘punk’ to them.
      • 1963, Thomas Pynchon, V, p. 145:
        There was nothing so special about the gang, punks are punks.
      • 1971, Harry Julian Fink & al., Dirty Harry:
        I know what you're thinking, punk. You're thinking, "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, I've forgotten myself in all this excitement. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?
    3. (pejorative) Synonym of sissy#English|sissy: a weak, timid person. [1939]
      • 1950, Hal Ellson, Tomboy, p. 12:
        Do you think a little thing like a scratch would bother me? I'm no punk.
      • 2006, Kali James, Can U Get Away? (page 17)
        Taking him home she hemmed him up soon as they stepped in the door. Now Tony was a bad dude in the streets but when it came to his mama, he was a punk. A few cuss words on her part had him spilling everything.
    4. Synonym of amateur#English|amateur. [1923]
    5. (circus slang) A young, untrained animal or worker. [1926]
  3. (uncountable, music genre) Short for punk rock#English|punk rock, a genre known for short, loud, energetic songs with electric guitars and strong drums. [1970]
    • 1972 November, L. Bangs, Creem, p. 68:
      Who else... would have the nerve to actually begin a song with the line ‘Whatchew gonna do, mama, now that the roast beef's gone...?’ Man, that is true punk; that is so fucked up it's got class up the ass.
  4. (countable) Short for punk rocker#English|punk rocker, a musician known for playing punk rock or a fan of the genre. [1976]
  5. (uncountable) The larger nonconformist social movement associated with punk rock and its fans.
Synonyms Translations
  • Portuguese: putinha
  • Russian: петух
Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • French: punk
  • Portuguese: punk
  • Russian: панк
  • Spanish: punk
Translations Adjective

punk (comparative punker, superlative punkest)

  1. (US, colloquial) Worthless, contemptible, particularly [1907]
    1. Bad, substandard.
    2. Thuggish, criminal.
    3. (chiefly AAVE) Cowardly. [1930]
    4. Poorly, sickly.
    5. Inexperienced.
  2. Of or concerning punk rock or its associated subculture. [1971]
    You look very punk with your t-shirt, piercing, and chains.

punk (punks, present participle punking; past and past participle punked)

  1. To pimp.
  2. To forcibly perform anal sex upon an unwilling partner.
    Ricky punked his new cell-mates.
  3. To prank.
    I got expelled when I punked the principal.
  4. (especially with "out") To give up or concede; to act like a wimp.
    Jimmy was going to help me with the prank, but he punked (out) at the last minute.
  5. (often with "out" or "up") To adapt or embellish in the style of the punk movement.
Synonyms Noun


  1. (uncountable) Any material used as tinder for lighting fires, such as agaric, dried wood, or touchwood, but especially wood altered by certain fungi.
    • 1899, H. B. Cushman, History of the Choctaw, Chickasaw and Natchez Indians, page 271:
      On one occasion a venerable old Indian man, who, in order to light his pipe, was trying to catch a spark upon a piece of punk struck from his flint and steel; ...
    • 1922, Harry Ignatius Marshall, The Karen People of Burma, page 61:
      The oil is mixed with bits of dry wood or punk and moulded into sticks about a cubit long and an inch in diameter by putting it into joints of small bamboo.
    • 2001, William W. Johnstone, War of the Mountain Man, page 116:
      He made him a little smoldering pocket of punk to light the fuses and waited.
  2. (countable) A utensil for lighting wicks or fuses (such as those of fireworks) resembling stick incense.
    • 1907, Jack London, The Road, :
      On the end a coal of fire slowly smouldered. It would last for hours, and my cell-mate called it a "punk."
    • 1994, Ashland Price, Viking Tempest, page 353:
      Then, without another word, he rose and left the shelter, apparently in order to light the vessel's wick with a punk from the dying campfire.
    • 2004, Shawn Shiflett, Hidden Place, page 221:
      He raised the cylinder high in the air with his bare hand, used a punk to light the fuse, and KABOOM!

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