Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Informal Spirit; pluck.
  • noun Punk, touchwood, or other tinder.
  • noun Vulgar Slang Ejaculated semen.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Touchwood; tinder; a kind of tinder made from a species of fungus; amadou. Also called punk.
  • noun A very small fire; a fiery spark or small flame; also, a lucifer match.
  • noun Mettle; spirit; pluck; obstinate resistance to yielding.
  • To kindle; show a flame or spark: used in phrases.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Wood that readily takes fire; touchwood; also, a kind of tinder made from a species of fungus; punk; amadou.
  • noun colloq. An inflammable temper; spirit; mettle; pluck.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun countable, obsolete A spark.
  • noun uncountable Touchwood; tinder.
  • noun countable, obsolete A piece of tinder, sometimes impregnated with sulphur; a match.
  • noun uncountable Courage; spirit; mettle; determination.
  • noun countable, UK, Australia, New Zealand, slang An attractive person (normally male).
  • noun uncountable, UK, vulgar, slang Male ejaculate; semen.
  • verb UK, slang To ejaculate.

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

  • noun the courage to carry on
  • noun material for starting a fire

Etymologies

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

[Scottish Gaelic spong, tinder, from Latin spongia, sponge; see sponge.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1530, blend of spark and funk (obsolete, "spark").

Examples

Comments

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  • In Australia in the 80's, synonymous with hunk. A sexually desirable man. E.g. "hey Brenda, cop an eyeful of Shane in his speedos, ain't he a spunk?"

    November 13, 2007

  • In UK it's another vernacular name for semen.

    July 14, 2008

  • also see moxie

    July 22, 2008

  • "My friend," she began, with a new note of impressiveness in her voice, "if you'll pardon my saying it, you haven't got the spunk of a mouse."

    - Harold Frederic, The Damnation of Theron Ware, ch. 14

    August 2, 2008