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punk 1

1. Slang
a. An often aggressive or violent young person: The building was set on fire by a bunch of punks.
b. An inexperienced young person: We don't want that little punk tagging along.
c. A cowardly or weak young person: Don't let him disrespect you—show him you're not a punk.
2. Music
a. Punk rock.
b. A punk rocker.
a. Slang A young man who is the sexual partner of an older man, especially in prison.
b. Archaic A prostitute.
v. punked, punk·ing, punks Slang
v. intr.
To act in a cowardly manner. Often used with out.
v. tr.
1. To humiliate (someone). Often used with down or out.
a. To dupe or deceive.
b. To play a practical joke on.

[Origin unknown.]

punk′er n.

punk 2

1. Dry decayed wood, used as tinder.
2. Any of various substances that smolder when ignited, used to light fireworks.
3. Chinese incense.
adj. Slang
1. Of poor quality; worthless.
2. Weak in spirits or health.

[Probably of eastern Algonquian origin.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.punks - a youth subculture closely associated with punk rock music in the late 1970spunks - a youth subculture closely associated with punk rock music in the late 1970s; in part a reaction to the hippy subculture; dress was optional but intended to shock (plastic garbage bags or old school uniforms) and hair was dyed in bright colors (in Mohican haircuts or sometimes spiked in bright plumes)
youth subculture - a minority youth culture whose distinctiveness depended largely on the social class and ethnic background of its members; often characterized by its adoption of a particular music genre
punk rocker, punk - a teenager or young adult who is a performer (or enthusiast) of punk rock and a member of the punk youth subculture
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
A genuine hobo, a couple of punks, or a bunch of tender-yeared road- kids might have gone through his rags for any stray pennies or nickels and kicked him out into the darkness.
He was withered, and blind, and senile, gibbering and mowing like some huge ape as ever he turned and twisted, and twisted back again, the suspended head in the pungent smoke, and handful by handful added rotten punk of wood to the smudge fire.
But don't forget to burn a few punk sticks in the joss house to the great god Mazuma from time to time.
Until he was thirty he had been satisfied to class all poetry (except that of Mr George Cohan) under the general heading of punk. Then he met Margaret, and the trouble began.
More than writing a 'zine or piercing the body, playing punk music was the supreme act of rebellion for punks.
With websites now the new fanzines and MP3 sharing the new distribution, perhaps the spirit of punk still survives in a new way.
Richard is happy to recall his teenage years - kissing while listening to city band Squad, drinking Scrumpy Jack and hanging around in Broadgate were the weekend rituals for the city's punks.
In destroying the paradigms of rock, hardcore punk was additionally questioning all paradigms of entertainment.
Punks may not be pretty and their lyrics may not be coherent to the casual listener, but they have integrity and a deep understanding of what the Air Force calls "service before self." Punk's ideological stand against the pursuit of illicit personal gain, either by hypocrisy or other ethical violations, is virtually identical to the Air Force's second Core Value.
'Punk is being destroyed by industry types digging their claws in, using it to their advantage and profit, and then abandoning it once all the life has been sucked out of it.'
When my mum came to pick me up from the Music Machine in Camden, North London, after a gig she always commented on how polite all the punks were as they came out.
We even wrote songs about God and the nature of existence (albeit from the perspective of under-educated, surly, snotty teenage punks).