- any old or discarded material, as metal, paper, or rags.
- anything that is regarded as worthless, meaningless, or contemptible; trash.
- old cable or cordage used when untwisted for making gaskets, swabs, oakum, etc.
- Nautical Slang. salt junk.
- Baseball Slang. relatively slow, unorthodox pitches that are deceptive to the batter in movement or pace, as knuckleballs or forkballs.
verb (used with object)
- to cast aside as junk; discard as no longer of use; scrap.
- cheap, worthless, unwanted, or trashy.
- a seagoing ship with a traditional Chinese design and used primarily in Chinese waters, having square sails spread by battens, a high stern, and usually a flat bottom.
- narcotics, especially heroin.
- the external genitals: I kicked him in the junk.
- discarded or secondhand objects, etc, collectively
- rubbish generally
- nonsensethe play was absolute junk
- slang any narcotic drug, esp heroin
- (tr) informal to discard as junk; scrap
- a sailing vessel used in Chinese waters and characterized by a very high poop, flat bottom, and square sails supported by battens
1803, “to cut off in lumps,” from junk (n.1). The meaning “to throw away as trash, to scrap” is from 1908. Related: Junked; junking.
New settlers (who should always be here as early in the spring as possible) begin to cut down the wood where they intend to erect their first house. As the trees are cut the branches are to be lopped off, and the trunks cut into lengths of 12 or 14 feet. This operation they call junking them; if they are not junked before fire is applied, they are much worse to junk afterwards. [letter dated Charlotte Town, Nov. 29, 1820, in “A Series of Letters Descriptive of Prince Edward Island,” 1822]
“worthless stuff,” mid-14c., junke “old cable or rope” (nautical), of uncertain origin, perhaps from Old French junc “rush, reed,” also used figuratively as a type of something of little value, from Latin iuncus “rush, reed” (but OED finds “no evidence of connexion”). Nautical use extended to “old refuse from boats and ships” (1842), then to “old or discarded articles of any kind” (1884). Junk food is from 1971; junk art is from 1966; junk mail first attested 1954.
“Chinese sailing ship,” 1610s, from Portuguese junco, from Malay jong “ship, large boat” (13c.), probably from Javanese djong.