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November 8, 2021

Wonky /ˈwäNGkē / adj. 

Definition:  Wonky is an adjective with multiple meanings:

  1. Something that is off-center 
  2. Shaky or unstable
  3. Something that isn’t working properly

Etymology:  Though the word has been in use since the early 1900s, it is still commonly heard today. It is more of a slang word than a formal one. There is some debate about where the word wonky came from. Most believe that it is related to an old German prefix with a similar meaning: wankel-. Additionally, the Old English word wancol means shaky or tottering and may have some connections.

In a Sentence

Don’t sit at that desk; the legs are wonky.

The eyes in that portrait are wonky.

This steering wheel is wonky—it keeps pulling to the left.


Askew, Unsteady


Steady, Level, Sturdy


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