from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Slang A young person, especially a member of a rebellious counterculture group.
  • n. Slang An inexperienced young man.
  • n. Music Punk rock.
  • n. Music A punk rocker.
  • n. Slang A young man who is the sexual partner of an older man.
  • n. Archaic A prostitute.
  • n. Dry decayed wood, used as tinder.
  • n. Any of various substances that smolder when ignited, used to light fireworks.
  • n. Chinese incense.
  • adj. Slang Of poor quality; worthless.
  • adj. Slang Weak in spirits or health.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A juvenile delinquent, young petty criminal or trouble-maker.
  • n. A utensil for lighting wicks or fuses (such as those of fireworks) resembling stick incense.
  • n. A prostitute; courtezan.
  • n. (19th century, rare) The bottom in a male-male sexual relationship; a catamite.
  • n. A male used for sex by larger or stronger inmates, a pussyboy
  • n. A social and musical movement rooted in rebelling against the established order.
  • n. The music of the punk movement, known for short songs with electric guitars, strong drums, and a direct, unproduced approach.
  • n. A person subscribing to the movement, a punk rocker.
  • n. A worthless person.
  • adj. Of, or resembling the punk subculture
  • v. To pimp.
  • v. To forcibly perform anal sex upon an unwilling partner.
  • v. To prank.
  • v. To give up or concede; to act like a wimp.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Wood so decayed as to be dry, crumbly, and useful for tinder; touchwood.
  • n. A fungus (Polyporus fomentarius, etc.) sometimes dried for tinder; agaric.
  • n. An artificial tinder. See Amadou, and Spunk.
  • n. A prostitute; a strumpet.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To strike or pound with the closed fist.
  • n. Wood decayed through the influence of a fungus or otherwise, and used like tinder; touchwood.
  • n. Tinder made from certain fungi. See amadou and fungus-tinder.
  • n. A prostitute; a courtezan.
  • n. A punch or pound with the closed fist.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. substance that smolders when ignited; used to light fuses (especially fireworks)
  • n. rock music with deliberately offensive lyrics expressing anger and social alienation; in part a reaction against progressive rock
  • n. material for starting a fire
  • n. an aggressive and violent young criminal
  • n. a teenager or young adult who is a performer (or enthusiast) of punk rock and a member of the punk youth subculture
  • adj. of very poor quality; flimsy


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Origin unknown.
Probably of eastern Algonquian origin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Perhaps a reduction of spunk ("tinder"); compare funk ("rotten wood"). Alternatively, perhaps from Lenape punkw ("dust"). Other senses derived by extension of the term for rotten wood dust to "anything rotten, worthless, rubbish" (1869) and figuratively to "a worthless person, a young hoodlum" (first recorded in 1908).



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  • "Crust punk" can be seen here. (but why would you want to?)

    January 15, 2009

  • "Now I want you to notice the smell of the punk, Tommy. Something like a peculiar incense. It has a smell so completely its own. You light your punk and it just glows on the end."

    - Malcolm Lowry, October Ferry to Gabriola

    July 30, 2008

  • A truly great band. Jim Pons, bassist, went on to play with Frank Zappa (and the Turtles, for which I guess I'll forgive him...)

    February 13, 2008

  • I saw the Leaves several times and they RULED!

    February 12, 2008

  • The Leaves were a proto-punk garage band from Los Angeles, known mainly for their recording of "Hey Joe." See Free Association.

    February 12, 2008