verb \ˈsiŋk\

: 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

sank \ˈsaŋk\ or sunk \ˈsəŋk\ sunksink·ing

Full Definition of SINK

intransitive verb
a :  to go to the bottom :  submerge
b :  to become partly buried (as in mud)
c :  to become engulfed
a (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 :  settle
c :  to disappear from view
d :  to slope gradually :  dip
a :  to soak or become absorbed :  penetrate
b :  to become impressively known or felt <the lesson had sunk in>
:  to become deeply absorbed <sank into reverie>
a :  to go downward in quality, state, or condition
b :  to grow less in amount or worth
a :  to fall or drop slowly for lack of strength
b :  to become depressed
c :  to fail in health or strength; broadly :  fail
transitive verb
a :  to cause to sink <sink a battleship>
b :  to force down especially below the earth's surface
c :  to cause (something) to penetrate
:  immerse, absorb <he sank himself into his studies>
a :  to dig or bore (a well or shaft) in the earth :  excavate
b :  to form by cutting or excising <sink words in stone>
:  to cast down or bring to a low condition or state :  overwhelm, defeat
:  to lower in standing or reputation :  abase
a :  to lessen in value or amount
b :  to lower or soften (the voice) in speaking
:  restrain, suppress <sinks her pride and approaches the despised neighbor — Richard Harrison>
:  to pay off (as a debt) :  liquidate
:  invest 1
:  drop 7c <sink a putt> <sink a jump shot>
chiefly British :  to drink down completely
sink·able \ˈsiŋ-kə-bəl\ adjective
sink one's teeth into
:  to bite into
:  to eagerly devote one's attention to <likes to sink her teeth into a good book>

Examples of SINK

  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 of SINK

Middle English, from Old English sincan; akin to Old High German sinkan to sink
First Known Use: before 12th century



: 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

Full Definition of SINK

a :  a pool or pit for the deposit of waste or sewage :  cesspool
b :  a ditch or tunnel for carrying off sewage :  sewer
c :  a stationary basin connected with a drain and usually a water supply for washing and drainage
:  a place where vice, corruption, or evil collects
:  sump 3
a :  a depression in the land surface; especially :  one having a saline lake with no outlet
b :  sinkhole
:  a body or process that acts as a storage device or disposal mechanism: as
a :  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

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

First Known Use of SINK

15th century

Other Civil Engineering Terms

asphalt, ballast, barrage, cantilever, infrastructure, sluice


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