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verb \ˈsiŋk\

Simple Definition of sink

  • : to go down below the surface of water, mud, etc.

  • : to cause (a ship or boat) to go down below the surface of water

  • : to move down to a lower position

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of sink


play \ˈsaŋk\ or


play \ˈsəŋk\



  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1a :  to go to the bottom :  submergeb :  to become partly buried (as in mud)c :  to become engulfed

  3. 2a (1) :  to fall or drop to a lower place or level (2) :  to flow at a lower depth or level (3) :  to burn with lower intensity (4) :  to fall to a lower pitch or volume <his voice sank to a whisper>b :  to subside gradually :  settlec :  to disappear from viewd :  to slope gradually :  dip

  4. 3a :  to soak or become absorbed :  penetrateb :  to become impressively known or felt <the lesson had sunk in>

  5. 4 :  to become deeply absorbed <sank into reverie>

  6. 5a :  to go downward in quality, state, or conditionb :  to grow less in amount or worth

  7. 6a :  to fall or drop slowly for lack of strengthb :  to become depressedc :  to fail in health or strength; broadly :  fail

  8. transitive verb
  9. 1a :  to cause to sink <sink a battleship>b :  to force down especially below the earth's surfacec :  to cause (something) to penetrate

  10. 2 :  immerse, absorb <he sank himself into his studies>

  11. 3a :  to dig or bore (a well or shaft) in the earth :  excavateb :  to form by cutting or excising <sink words in stone>

  12. 4 :  to cast down or bring to a low condition or state :  overwhelm, defeat

  13. 5 :  to lower in standing or reputation :  abase

  14. 6a :  to lessen in value or amountb :  to lower or soften (the voice) in speaking

  15. 7 :  restrain, suppress <sinks her pride and approaches the despised neighbor — Richard Harrison>

  16. 8 :  to pay off (as a debt) :  liquidate

  17. 9 :  invest 1

  18. 10 :  drop 7c <sink a putt> <sink a jump shot>

  19. 11 chiefly British :  to drink down completely


play \ˈsiŋ-kə-bəl\ adjective

sink one's teeth into

  1. 1 :  to bite into

  2. 2 :  to eagerly devote one's attention to <likes to sink her teeth into a good book>

Examples of sink in a sentence

  1. The passengers were rescued from the boat before it sank.

  2. The rock sank to the bottom of the pool.

  3. My foot sank into the deep mud.

  4. She sank up to her knees in the snow.

  5. The torpedo sank the ship.

  6. The sun sank behind the hills.

  7. She sank back into the cozy chair.

  8. The temperature sinks quickly after the sun sets.

  9. The lake's water level is slowly sinking.

  10. His strength is slowly sinking.

Origin and Etymology of sink

Middle English, from Old English sincan; akin to Old High German sinkan to sink

First Known Use: before 12th century




Simple Definition of sink

  • : a wide bowl that has a faucet for water and a drain at the bottom and is usually positioned in a counter or on a pedestal

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of sink

  1. 1a :  a pool or pit for the deposit of waste or sewage :  cesspoolb :  a ditch or tunnel for carrying off sewage :  sewerc :  a stationary basin connected with a drain and usually a water supply for washing and drainage

  2. 2 :  a place where vice, corruption, or evil collects

  3. 3 :  sump 3

  4. 4a :  a depression in the land surface; especially :  one having a saline lake with no outletb :  sinkhole

  5. 5 :  a body or process that acts as a storage device or disposal mechanism: asa :  heat sink; broadly :  a device that collects or dissipates energy (as radiation)b :  a reactant with or absorber of a substance <forests are a sink for carbon dioxide>

Examples of sink in a sentence

  1. <was able to rise above the inner-city sink that was his birthplace>

15th Century

First Known Use of sink

15th century

Other Civil Engineering Terms

SINK Defined for Kids



verb \ˈsiŋk\

Definition of sink for Students


\ˈsaŋk\ or





  1. 1 :  to move or cause to move downward so as to be swallowed up <The ship sank.>

  2. 2 :  to fall or drop to a lower level <They both sank gratefully to the floor. — Jane Yolen, The Devil's Arithmetic>

  3. 3 :  to penetrate or cause to penetrate <He sank an ax into the tree.>

  4. 4 :  to go into or become absorbed <Water sank into the ground.>

  5. 5 :  to become known or felt <She had to let the news sink in.>

  6. 6 :  to lessen in amount <The temperature sank.>

  7. 7 :  to form by digging or boring <We'll sink a well for water.>

  8. 8 :  to spend (money) unwisely

  9. 9 :  to descend into a feeling of sadness or dread <When I realized I had not won, my heart sank.>




Definition of sink for Students

  1. :  a wide bowl or basin attached to a wall or floor and having water faucets and a drain

Seen and Heard

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to depart quickly

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