Etymology
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flunk (v.)

1823, American English college slang, original meaning "to back out, give up, fail," of obscure origin, traditionally said to be an alteration of British university slang funk "to be frightened, shrink from" (see funk (n.1)). Meaning "cause to fail, give a failing mark to" is from 1843. Related: Flunked; flunking.

updated on December 02, 2014

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Definitions of flunk from WordNet
1
flunk (v.)
fail to get a passing grade;
Synonyms: fail / bomb / flush it
2
flunk (n.)
failure to reach a minimum required performance;
he got two flunks on his report
Synonyms: failing
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.