fuck (fŭk) Vulgar Slang
v. fucked, fuck·ing, fucks
1. To have sexual intercourse with.
2. To take advantage of, betray, or cheat; victimize.
3. Used in the imperative as a signal of angry dismissal.
1. To engage in sexual intercourse.
2. To act wastefully or foolishly.
3. To tinker or meddle with something. Often used with with.
4. To tease or treat someone carelessly or indifferently. Often used with with.
1. An act of sexual intercourse.
2. A partner in sexual intercourse.
3. A despised person.
a. Used as an intensive: What the fuck did you do that for?
b. Used for intensive effect in idioms such as beat the fuck out of (someone) for beat (someone) very badly.
Used to express extreme displeasure.
1. Used in the imperative as a signal of angry dismissal.
2. To spend time idly.
3. To masturbate.
To treat unfairly; take advantage of.
1. To make a mistake; bungle something.
2. To act carelessly, foolishly, or incorrectly.
3. To cause to be intoxicated.
[Late Middle English (attested in pseudo-Latin fuccant, (they) fuck, deciphered from encoded gxddbov), from Middle English *fucken, to strike, fuck (attested in names such as John Fuckethenavele, John "Fuck-the-navel," and Henrci Fuckebegger, Henry "Henry Strike-beggar"); akin to Dutch fokken, to strike, have sexual intercourse with, breed (cattle), German ficken, to have sexual intercourse with, and Swedish dialectal fock, penis; see peuk- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Word History: Fuck is an old word, although throughout its history it has probably been uttered in speech much more than it has been written in manuscripts or printed in books. Some of the first first written evidence we have of the word fuck is found in a poem composed in a mixture of Latin and English sometime before 1500. In the manuscript of the poem, some of the lines are even written in code—to hide the lewd nature of the text or perhaps to offer the reader the fun of deciphering the verses and discovering the bawdy words within. The poem, which satirizes the Carmelite friars of Cambridge, England, takes its title, "Flen flyys," from the first words of its opening line, "Flen, flyys, and freris," that is, "fleas, flies, and friars." The line that contains fuck reads "Non sunt in coeli, quia gxddbov xxkxzt pg ifmk." The Latin words "Non sunt in coeli, quia," mean "they [the friars] are not in heaven, since." The code "gxddbov xxkxzt pg ifmk" is easily broken by simply substituting the preceding letter in the alphabet, keeping in mind differences in the alphabet and in spelling between then and now: i was then used for both i and j; v was used for both u and v; and vv was used for w. This yields "fvccant [a fake Latin form] vvivys of heli." The whole thus reads in translation: "They are not in heaven because they fuck wives of Ely [a town near Cambridge]."
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.