spunk

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n spunk the courage to carry on "he kept fighting on pure spunk","you haven't got the heart for baseball"
    • n spunk material for starting a fire
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Spunk An inflammable temper; spirit; mettle; pluck; as, a man of spunk . "A lawless and dangerous set, men of spunk , and spirit, and power, both of mind and body."
    • Spunk Wood that readily takes fire; touchwood; also, a kind of tinder made from a species of fungus; punk; amadou.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n spunk Touchwood; tinder; a kind of tinder made from a species of fungus; amadou. Also called punk.
    • n spunk A very small fire; a fiery spark or small flame; also, a lucifer match.
    • n spunk Mettle; spirit; pluck; obstinate resistance to yielding.
    • spunk To kindle; show a flame or spark: used in phrases.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Spunk spungk touchwood, tinder, a fungus from which tinder is made, punk, amadou:
    • v.i Spunk to take fire, flame up
    • n Spunk spungk (Scot.) a small fire, a fiery spark, a lucifer-match: mettle, spirit, pluck
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Gael. spong, or Ir. sponc, tinder, sponge; cf. AS. sponge, a sponge (L. spongia,), spōn, a chip. Cf. Sponge Punk
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Cf. Ir. sponc, tinder, sponge—L. spongia, a sponge—Gr. sponggia.

Usage

In literature:

I brag on the spunk of him.
"The Backwoodsmen" by Charles G. D. Roberts
Oh, you haven't a bit of spunk!
"Polly of Lady Gay Cottage" by Emma C. Dowd
Why, you have no more spunk than a hooked cod-fish!
"An Old Sailor's Yarns" by Nathaniel Ames
I had the spunk to ass 'im, an' he din 'ave the spunk to dischawge me!
"Dr. Sevier" by George W. Cable
But you have to put some spunk into it, Johanna.
"The Lonely Way--Intermezzo--Countess Mizzie" by Arthur Schnitzler
I didna think the 'Bumbees' had as muckle spunk in them; seven wickets, did ye say, against the English?
"Young Barbarians" by Ian Maclaren
With what spunk and spirit he defends himself against his enemies!
"Ways of Nature" by John Burroughs
I used to catch it in one hand, whilst I frigged with the other, then fling the spunk up towards the girls' legs.
"My Secret Life, Volumes I. to III." by Anonymous
I glory in your spunk!
"In the Heart of a Fool" by William Allen White
It'll be spunk to his zeal.
"Ringan Gilhaize" by John Galt
***

In poetry:

With grinning teeth, and up-turned hair—
Brim full of spunk and wrath,
He growls, and seizes on dead bear,
And shakes for life and death.
"The Bear Hunt" by Abraham Lincoln
Ha'e scarce a spunk o' fire to warm
Their chitterin' bairnies' fingers red;
Ha'e ne'er a shoe to fend their feet,
An' scarce a blanket on the bed;—
"Winter" by Janet Hamilton
Aye, but it rouses loyal spunk
To think of that old tree!
Its stately stem, its spacious trunk
By Nature robbed of pith and punk
To guard our liberty.
"The Charter Oak" by Hattie Howard
She never cam' hame, but they trackit her feet
To the moss; it was there wi' death she did meet,
In a boggy well-e'e owre heid she had sunk,
Beguil'd by the licht o' the wannerin' Spunk.
"Spunkie" by Janet Hamilton
The lichts o' langsyne are noo laid on the shelf,
An' maybe they've smoor't the wee wannerin' elf,
Or sous'd the bit Spunk in some broun mossy stank,
Sae deep that it canna win up to the bank.
"Spunkie" by Janet Hamilton

In news:

That the hypnotist 's wife, a successful art dealer equipped with plenty of spunk if not entirely a personality, actively joins the manhunt is nice.
Actress Finds Shadows In Shakespearean Spunk.
Ike couldn't spike Frog at Home owner's spunk .
He's got spunk , and we love it.
Honky-tonker's spunk and lyrics make up for waning vocals.
Rookie QB Weeden, unbeaten Browns showing signs of spunk in preseason.
Weeden, Browns showing signs of spunk in preseason.
" Spunk " at Court Theatre.
'Hokie Girls' show spunk .
If there was one phrase to describe Laura Lea Collman, it would have to be ' spunk and determination.
Actress Finds Shadows In Shakespearean Spunk .
Silverman Brings SPUNK to Direct Marketing.
" Spunk In The City" This Saturday-All Day.
Spunk (I call him Spunk now) has a number of health problems, and is on steroids.
Lafayette, a city of 116,000 in southwest Louisiana, has plenty of Cajun spunk.
***