an·​ker | \ ˈäŋkər, ˈa- \
plural -s

Definition of anker

1 : a unit of capacity:
a : an old Dutch and German liquid measure used in various countries of Europe especially for spirits and equal to about 9 to 10.5 U.S. gallons (30 to 40 liters)
b : a U.S. unit equal to 10 gallons (37.85 liters)
c : a unit of South Africa equal to 7¹/₂ imperial gallons (34.10 liters)
2 : a cask or keg having a capacity of one anker

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of anker

1673, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for anker

Dutch, probably from Medieval Latin ancheria, anceria

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about anker

Statistics for anker

Cite this Entry

“Anker.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster
Comments on anker

What made you want to look up anker? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!