skunk / skŭngk
1. a rodent from the family Mephitidae in the Americas, with black fur distinguished by a white strip that goes down its back and tail and sprays an awful smell when threatened
You cannot catch skunks with mice.
2. slang, a vile person
And you say that the skunk means to set up in business as a pirate?
From “Turned Adrift” by Harry Collingwood, pseudonym of William Joseph Cosens Lancaster, 1843 – 1922
3. slang, marijuana
Smoking high-potency skunk every day increases your risk of developing serious mental illness five times, researchers warned.
Rob Waugh, “Smoking high-strength skunk every day ‘increases your risk of psychosis five-fold”, ‘Metro’, March 20, 2019 9:54am
1. to be sprayed with the awful smelling fluid of a rodent known as a skunk
Now that you’ve been skunked, anything you come into contact with is going to smell like you do.
“10 Things to Do if You’ve Been Skunked”, The Editors of Publications International, Ltd., https://animals.howstuffworks.com/animal-facts/10-things-to-do-if-youve-been-skunked1.htm
2. to thoroughly defeat an opponent in a game, especially keeping them scoreless
Georgia skunked Missouri 27-0 last week, but Tigers quarterback Kelly Bryant didn’t play because of an injury.
Joseph Goodman, al, “Ailing Alabama being doubted; Auburn needs some magic,” 14 Nov. 2019
3. to cheat or not pay what is owed
“I couldn’t tell whar ther spot was myself, and thet’s how I got skunked out of a rich claim.”
From “The Argonauts of California: Being the Reminiscences of Scenes and Incidents that Occurred in California in Early Mining Days” by Charles Warren Haskins, published 1890
skunk, from the Abnaki Indian noun segonku
Thank you to Allen Ward for providing this etymology.