- Rhymes: -ʌŋk
From Middle English funke, fonke (“spark”), from Old English *funca, *fanca (“spark”), from Proto-Germanic *funkô, *fankô (“spark”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)peng-, *(s)pheng- (“to shine”). Cognate with Middle Low German funke, fanke (“spark”), Middle Dutch vonke (“spark”), Old High German funcho, funko (“spark”), German Funke (“spark”). More at spunk.
funk (plural funks)
1743, Scottish and Northern English dialectal word, originally a verb meaning "to panic, fail due to panic". Perhaps from or cognate with obsolete Dutch fonck (“distress, agitation”), from Middle Dutch fonck (“perturbation, agitation”). More at flunk.
- To shrink from, or avoid something because of fear
- (Can we find and add a quotation of C. Kingsley to this entry?)
1620, from French dialectal (Norman) funquer, funquier (“to smoke, reek”), from Old Northern French fungier (“to smoke”), from Vulgar Latin fūmicāre, alteration of Latin fūmigāre (“to smoke, fumigate”). Related to French dialect funkière (“smoke”). More at fumigate.
- (countable) Foul or unpleasant smell, especially body odour.
- (uncountable) Music that combines traditional forms of black music (as blues, gospel, or soul) and is characterized by a strong backbeat.