skunk

All Sources -
Updated Media sources (1) About encyclopedia.com content Print Topic Share Topic
views updated

skunk / skəngk/ • n. a cat-sized American mammal (Mephitis and other genera) 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 toward its attacker. ∎  the fur of the skunk. ∎ inf. a contemptible person. • v. [tr.] inf. 1. (often be skunked) defeat (someone) overwhelmingly in a game or contest, esp. by preventing them from scoring at all. 2. dated fail to pay (a bill or creditor). ORIGIN: mid 17th cent.: from Massachusett squunck.

views updated

skunk Nocturnal, omnivorous mammal that lives in the USA, Central and South America. It has powerful anal scent glands, which eject a foul-smelling liquid, used in defence. It has a small head, and a slender, thickly furred body with short legs and a large bushy tail. The coat is black with bold white warning markings along the back. The most common species is the striped skunk, Mephitis mephitis. Length: to 38cm (15in); weight: 4.5kg (10lb). Family Mustelidae.

views updated

skunkbonk, clonk, conk, cronk, honk, Leblanc, pétanque, plonk, tronc, zonk •honky-tonk • oink • Munch •bunk, chunk, clunk, drunk, dunk, flunk, funk, gunk, hunk, junk, Monck, monk, plunk, punk, shrunk, skunk, slunk, spunk, stunk, sunk, thunk, trunk •chipmunk • quidnunc • cyberpunk •punch-drunk • countersunk

views updated

skunk (Mephitis) See MEMPHITIDAE; MUSTELIDAE.

views updated

skunk N.Amer. animal of the weasel kind, noted for emitting an offensive smell XVII; contemptible person XIX. of Algonquian orig.

More From Encyclopedia.com


MORE ON THIS TOPIC