(Science: zoology) Any one of several species of American musteline carnivores of the genus mephitis and allied genera. They have two glands near the anus, secreting an extremely fetid liquid, which the animal ejects at pleasure as a means of defense.
The common species of the Eastern united states (mephitis mephitica) is black with more or less white on the body and tail. The spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius), native of the southwestern United States and Mexico, is smaller than the common skunk, and is variously marked with black and white.
(Science: botany) Skunk cabbage See porpoise.
Origin: Contr. From the Abenaki (American Indian) seganku.