mid-15c., "spongy, tender," from Latin fungosus "full of holes, spongy," from fungus "a mushroom, fungus" (see fungus). Meaning "pertaining to or characterized by fungus" is from 18c.; figuratively, often "springing up suddenly" (1751).
"tightrope-walker," 1793, coined from Latin funis "a rope, line, cord," + ambulare "to walk" (see amble (v.)). Earlier was funambulant (1660s), funambule (1690s from Latin funambulus, the classical name for a performer of this ancient type of public entertainment), and pseudo-Italian funambulo (c. 1600). Related: Funambulate; funambulation; funambulatory.
c. 1400, funell, fonel, from Old French *founel, apparently a word from a southern French dialect, such as Provençal enfounilh (Weekley calls it "a word from the Southern wine trade"), from Late Latin fundibulum, shortened from Latin infundibulum "a funnel or hopper in a mill," from infundere "pour in," from in- "in" + fundere "to pour" (from nasalized form of PIE root *gheu- "to pour").
"portending death," 1650s, obsolete from 18c. except in poetry, from French funeste "unlucky" (14c.), from Latin funestus "causing death, destructive; mournful," from funus "a funeral" (see funeral (n.)). Related: Funestal (1550s).
1784, "old, musty," in reference to cheeses, then "repulsive," from funk (n.2) + -y (2). It began to develop an approving sense in jazz slang c. 1900, probably on the notion of "earthy, strong, deeply felt." Funky also was used early 20c. by white writers in reference to body odor allegedly peculiar to blacks. The word reached wider popularity c. 1954 (it was defined in "Time" magazine, Nov. 8, 1954) and in the 1960s acquired a broad slang sense of "fine, stylish, excellent."