If something smells bad, it stinks. This popular word is an irregular verb:

simplepastpast participle
stank or stunk
  • What stinks?
  • This stinks!
  • My dog stinks. She needs a bath.
  • Rotten food stinks.
  • I put some leftover fish in the microwave and it stunk up the entire house. (Notice that "up" often appears after "stink.")
  • Something in the backseat is stinking up the entire car.
  • John used the bathroom and stunk it up so badly that no one could go in there.
  • Something stinks in the garage. I think it’s a dead animal.
  • Cat urine really stinks.


You can also use "stink" to talk about a bad situation, a thing, or a person’s abilties:

  • Our basketball team stinks.
  • He’s not a very good guitarist. In fact, he really stinks on guitar.
  • The new rules we have at work stink.
  • Wow, that movie really stunk.
  • My German stinks. I have to practice more.

The word "stinky" is an adjective:

  • Throw that stinky thing in the garbage!
  • This cheese is really stinky, but it tastes good.
  • Gabriel hasn’t bathed in three days, and now he’s really stinky.
  • There’s something stinky in my garage.

It is possible to use "stink" as a noun:

  • What’s that stink?
  • The cat peed on the carpet, but we couldn’t get the stink out of it, so we needed to throw it away.
  • There’s an odd stink in the air. What is that?

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January 30, 2020