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

  • adj. Frightened; panicky.
  • adj. Having a moldy or musty smell: funky cheese; funky cellars.
  • adj. Having a strong, offensive, unwashed odor.
  • adj. Music Of or relating to music that has an earthy quality reminiscent of the blues.
  • adj. Music Combining elements of jazz, blues, and soul and characterized by syncopated rhythm and a heavy, repetitive bass line.
  • adj. Slang Earthy and uncomplicated; natural: "At the opposite end of Dallas's culinary spectrum is funky regional fare” ( Jacqueline Friedrich).
  • adj. Slang Characterized by originality and modishness; unconventional: "a bizarre, funky [hotel ] dressed up as a ship, with mock portholes and mirrored ceilings over the beds” ( Ann Louise Bardach).
  • adj. Slang Outlandishly vulgar or eccentric in a humorous or tongue-in-cheek manner; campy: "funky caricatures of sexpot glamour” ( Pauline Kael).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. offbeat, unconventional or eccentric.
  • adj. Not quite right; of questionable quality; not appropriate to the context.
  • adj. cool; great; excellent
  • adj. Having or relating to the smell of funk.
  • adj. relating to or reminiscent of various genres of African American music.
  • adj. Relating to, or characterized by, great fear, or funking.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to, or characterized by, great fear, or funking; having great fear.
  • n. having an earthy, unsophisticated style or feeling

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Timid; shrinking in fear.
  • Kicking; given to kicking, as a horse.
  • Easily angered; touchy.

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

  • adj. offensively malodorous
  • adj. in a state of cowardly fright
  • adj. (of jazz) having the soulful feeling of early blues
  • adj. stylish and modern in an unconventional way


From funk, strong smell, tobacco smoke, perhaps from French dialectal funquer, to give off smoke, from Old French fungier, from Latin fūmigāre; see fumigate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
funk +‎ -y (Wiktionary)



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  • From a recent call for papers on a philosophers' mailing list: 'While paper proposals on any topic are welcome, the organizers have a special interest in talks on "funky* notions of causation" funky is a technical term ruling out efficient and final causes'>for example, formal, emanative, immanent, material, (etc) causation; *funky is a technical term ruling out efficient and final causes.'

    June 22, 2008