spunk
1530, blend of spark and funk. Also, merging with spunck, 1582, ultimately from Irish, Old (to 900) sponc, from Latin spongia. Pronunciation Noun

spunk (uncountable)

  1. (countable, obsolete) A spark#Noun|spark.
    • 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson, “I Talk with Alan in the Wood of Lettermore”, in Kidnapped, being Memoirs of the Adventures of David Balfour in the Year 1751: […], London; Paris: Cassell & Company, Limited., OCLC 1056292939 ↗, pages 176–177 ↗:
      "[...] That's none such an entirely bad little man, yon little man with the red head," said Alan. "He has some spunks of decency."
  2. (uncountable) Touchwood; tinder.
    • 1646, Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica, II.5:
      Spunk, or Touch-wood prepared, might perhaps make it Russet: and some, as Beringuccio affirmeth, have promised to make it Red.
    • 1665, Robert Hooke, Micrographia, XXII:
      A piece of Touch-wood (which is a kind of Jews-ear, or Mushrom, growing here in England also, on several sorts of Trees, such as Elders, Maples, Willows, &c. and is commonly call'd by the name of Spunk […]).
  3. (countable, chiefly, Scotland, obsolete) A piece of tinder, sometimes impregnated with sulphur; a match.
    • 1829, Society for Relief of the Destitute Sick (Edinburgh), Report, [http://books.google.com.au/books?id=R0QbAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA7&lpg=RA1-PA7&dq=%22spunks%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&source=bl&ots=BTb4gpmp_J&sig=oHplETIrEs9uUHk0TG9eikOcA4g&hl=en&sa=X&ei=1s9hUIWFF-P_iAekoYH4AQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22spunks%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 7],
      At present, her only means of procuring subsistence for herself and children, is by making spunks or matches, which, either she or her eldest child, a girl about six years of age, sells from door to door.
    • 1843, John Wilson, John Gibson Lockhart, William Maginn, James Hogg, The Noctes Ambrosianæ of “Blackwood”, Volume IV, [http://books.google.com.au/books?id=SHU4AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA396&lpg=PA396&dq=%22spunks%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&source=bl&ots=QwmptLb6hz&sig=kGXEMgWWoTStabwchLAughGYPpc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=1s9hUIWFF-P_iAekoYH4AQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22spunks%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 396],
      Spunksspunksspunks — who will buy my spunks?” — cried an errant voice with a beseeching earnestness […] .
  4. (uncountable) Courage; spirit; mettle; determination.
    • 1920 August, Edward Leonard, Old Zeke′s Mule, Boys′ Life, [http://books.google.com.au/books?id=uT1qTdmJwNQC&pg=PA55&lpg=PA55&dq=%22spunk%22|%22spunks%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&source=bl&ots=NqmU9BIPet&sig=5NjM3nVsnhPjhHp19WSUePkrdnA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=YLthUPStKq2fiAfGgYH4Cg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22spunk%22|%22spunks%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=falsepage 55],
      “I reckon I′m as good as a mule,” he declared. “Maria knows what that desert is as well as we do, but she′s got more spunk than either of us. I'm not going to let any mule show more spunk than me.”
    • 1991, Lindsey Hanks, (copyright Linda Chesnutt, Georgia Pierce), Long Texas Night, Zebra Books, US, [http://books.google.com.au/books?id=IU6W7QRnEtQC&pg=PA26&lpg=PA26&dq=%22spunk%22|%22spunks%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&source=bl&ots=aYgfcLJ5b5&sig=TJBw4JvUBb1LemN5PaTydj-qH2A&hl=en&sa=X&ei=YLthUPStKq2fiAfGgYH4Cg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22spunk%22|%22spunks%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 26],
      “You've got spunk, missy, I′ll have to say that for you. Maybe with your spunk and my good looks we can get this place in shape again.”
      It was Sarah′s turn to laugh.
  5. (countable, UK, Australia, New Zealand, slang) An attractive person (normally male).
    Synonyms: Adonis, beefcake, hunk
    • 2005, Sue Austin, Women′s Aggressive Fantasies: A Post-Jungian Exploration of Self-Hatred, Love and Agency, Routledge, UK, [http://books.google.com.au/books?id=-wVfbjxcZcUC&pg=PA166&lpg=PA166&dq=%22spunks%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&source=bl&ots=Y_YEym0AT9&sig=j21Nvf8dkqKQn1x75spwztV2EiQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=1s9hUIWFF-P_iAekoYH4AQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22spunks%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 166],
      We are welcomed by 20 year old spunks, as we make a last valiant attempt with our bodies - gasp, gasp - and try to get back in shape.
  6. (uncountable, chiefly, UK, vulgar, slang) Semen.
    • 2007, Debra Hyde, Kidnapped, Violet Blue (editor), Lust: Erotic Fantasies for Women, 2010, ReadHowYouWant, [http://books.google.com.au/books?id=hw9m2beqNIsC&pg=PA188&lpg=PA188&dq=%22spunk%22|%22spunks%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&source=bl&ots=vzCXr3bGpl&sig=U8NeQ7E2SJ4ZTxBsDOidAW3ElTA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=YLthUPStKq2fiAfGgYH4Cg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22spunk%22|%22spunks%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 188],
      It was runny stuff and, as she felt Brain loosen his hold on the drawstrings, Cackle's spunk dripped onto the shelf of her chin.
Translations Translations
  • German: heißer Typ
  • Portuguese: gato
  • Spanish: guaperas (Spain), churro (Latin America), guapetón
Translations Verb

spunk (spunks, present participle spunking; past and past participle spunked)

  1. (intransitive, obsolete) To catch fire; flame up.
  2. (slang, vulgar) To ejaculate.
    He spunked into the condom.



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