bun·​ker | \ ˈbəŋ-kər How to pronounce bunker (audio) \

Definition of bunker

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a bin or compartment for storage especially : one on shipboard for the ship's fuel
2a : a protective embankment or dugout especially : a fortified chamber mostly below ground often built of reinforced concrete and provided with embrasures
b : a sand trap or embankment constituting a hazard on a golf course


bunkered; bunkering\ ˈbəŋ-​k(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce bunkering (audio) \

Definition of bunker (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to fill a ship's bunker with coal or oil

transitive verb

1 : to place or store in a bunker
2 : to hit (a golf ball or shot) into a bunker


biographical name
Bun·​ker | \ ˈbəŋ-kər How to pronounce Bunker (audio) \

Definition of Bunker (Entry 3 of 3)

Ellsworth 1894–1984 American diplomat

Examples of bunker in a Sentence

Noun The ammunition is stored in concrete bunkers. Verb She bunkered her tee shot. They bunkered just enough coal to get them to the port.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun President Trump is calling on officials to exact legal revenge on whoever leaked the details of his trip to the White House bunker on May 29 as hundreds of demonstrators protesting George Floyd's death gathered in the streets outside. Katherine Doyle, Washington Examiner, "Trump wants to prosecute whoever leaked his bunker visit," 18 June 2020 Among other top headlines, AG William Barr has commented on President Trump’s trip to the White House bunker during protests and coronavirus continues to spread in many parts of the world. Mike Rose, cleveland, "Georg Floyd funeral, Barr on Trump’s bunker visit, coronavirus updates & more: What’s trending today," 9 June 2020 President Trump was briefly moved to the White House bunker on Friday evening as protests were being held near the White House, CBS News confirmed. CBS News, "Trump briefly taken to White House bunker during protests Friday," 1 June 2020 Secret Service agents rushed President Trump to a White House bunker on Friday night as hundreds of protesters gathered outside the executive mansion, some of them throwing rocks and tugging at police barricades. Jonathan Lemire, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump took shelter in White House bunker as protests raged," 1 June 2020 Durkan also shot back with a reference to Trump's May 29 trip to a White House bunker as people demonstrated in Lafayette Square outside. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "'Go back to your bunker': Seattle mayor, Washington governor fire back at Trump threat to handle protests," 12 June 2020 On May 28, as a group of protesters hopped over temporary barricades near the White House, the Secret Service rushed President Trump to a secure bunker below the building. Washington Post, "A gallery of pain and protest," 10 June 2020 The extra security measure was also implemented after The New York Times reported, and NBC News confirmed, that the president had been taken to a secure bunker during demonstrations on Friday. NBC News, "University of Alabama to remove Confederate plaques from campus," 9 June 2020 Nickol finished his tournament with a flourish on the par-4 No. 18, chipping a perfect shot out of the bunker to the right of the green and then knocking in a 10-foot putt for par. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, "Their golf season was canceled, but 120 Indiana seniors get closure in 2020 Senior Open," 5 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Carr has dodged subpoenas to appear before the committee, even one served via Twitter, and has remained silent and presumably bunkered in her $2 million North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains home. John Haughey, Washington Examiner, "Judge unlocks $500K in Florida domestic violence nonprofit’s frozen assets to pay bills, help victims," 27 May 2020 India’s bunkering demand averages around 20,000 barrels a day, but this has risen to around 30,000 in January due to IMO 2020, according to Abhishek Nambiar, an analyst at industry consultant FGE. Dhwani Pandya, Bloomberg.com, "Ship-Fuel Squeeze in India Another Hurdle for Ailing Economy," 10 May 2020 For players that want to stay here, the facility will be available.’’ Opening Day was scheduled for March 26 and the best-case April 9 start date now seems to be unlikely as MLB appears to be bunkering down for what could be a lengthy layoff. Jesse Yomtov, USA TODAY, "MLB letting leave spring training as coronavirus delays baseball season," 13 Mar. 2020 At supermarkets across the city, shoppers have thronged the aisles, some anxiously provisioning for weeks of bunkering at home, others simply (and, perhaps, defiantly) going about their normal routines. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "What We’re Buying for the Quarantine," 18 Mar. 2020 Cleveland’s executives are bunkered in, taking and making calls. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Kevin Love discusses Tristan Thompson trade rumors: ‘I only know him as a Cavalier and I like it that way’," 5 Feb. 2020 Newsletter Sign-up The study said 87% of the investment will be needed for the production of new fuels and the storage and bunkering facilities for refueling ships at ports. Costas Paris, WSJ, "Report Puts $1 Trillion Price Tag on Cutting Ship Carbon Emissions," 21 Jan. 2020 Hours later, Iran hurled ballistic missiles at U.S. forces bunkered in bases in western and northern Iraq. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, "For Iraqis, an unwanted conflict threatens their country once more," 8 Jan. 2020 This means that the Canadians could reasonably bunker down in the rematch, preferring to focus on defense to grind out a draw. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "USMNT seeks payback during key revenge match against Canada in Orlando," 15 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bunker.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bunker


1839, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1886, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for bunker


Scots bonker chest, box

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Time Traveler for bunker

Time Traveler

The first known use of bunker was in 1839

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Statistics for bunker

Last Updated

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bunker.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bunker. Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce Bunker (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bunker

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a strong building that is mostly below ground and that is used to keep soldiers, weapons, etc., safe from attacks
golf : an area on a golf course that is filled with sand
: a container for holding coal, oil, etc., on a ship or outside a house



English Language Learners Definition of bunker (Entry 2 of 2)

golf : to hit (a golf ball) into a bunker
: to place or store (coal, oil, etc.) in a bunker

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More from Merriam-Webster on bunker

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bunker

Spanish Central: Translation of bunker

Nglish: Translation of bunker for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bunker for Arabic Speakers

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