v. stank (stăngk) or stunk (stŭngk), stunk, stink·ing, stinks
1. To emit a strong foul odor: The basement stinks of mildew.
a. To be of an extremely low or bad quality: These golf clubs stink.
b. To be in extremely bad repute: His name has stunk ever since that scandal.
c. To be morally offensive or have the appearance of dishonesty or corruption: Something about her testimony stinks.
d. To have something to an extreme or offensive degree: a family that is stinking with money; an act that stinks of jealousy.
To cause to stink: garbage that stinks up the yard.
1. A strong offensive odor; a stench. See Synonyms at stench.
2. Slang A scandal or controversy: "the stink over sexual politics in the military" (David Nyhan).
make/raise a stink Slang
To make a great fuss.
[Middle English stinken, from Old English stincan, to emit a smell.]
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:
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.