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junk 1 (jŭngk)
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n.
1. Discarded material, such as glass, rags, paper, or metal, some of which may be reused in some form.
2. Informal
a. Articles that are worn-out or fit to be discarded: broken furniture and other junk in the attic.
b. Cheap or shoddy material.
c. Something meaningless, fatuous, or unbelievable: nothing but junk in the annual report.
3. Vulgar Slang
a. The genitals.
b. The buttocks.
4. Slang Heroin.
5. Hard salt beef for consumption on board a ship.
tr.v. junked, junk·ing, junks
To discard as useless or sell to be reused as parts; scrap.
adj.
1. Cheap, shoddy, or worthless: junk jewelry.
2. Having a superficial appeal or utility, but lacking substance: "the junk issues that have dominated this year's election" (New Republic).
3. Relating to or similar to junk bonds, especially in having a high risk of default: debt of junk status.

[Middle English jonk, an old cable or rope, perhaps from jonk, rush (plant of the genus Juncus, often used to make cordage), from Old French jonc, from Latin iuncus; see JONQUIL.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
junk 2 (jŭngk)
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n.
A traditional Chinese sailing vessel having a high poop and usually two or more masts bearing battened lugsails.

[Portuguese junco or Dutch jonk, both from Javanese djong, variant of djung, from Old Javanese jong, seagoing ship.]
(click for a larger image)
junk2

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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