bun·​ker | \ˈbəŋ-kər \

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\-​k(ə-​)riŋ \

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 \

Definition of Bunker (Entry 3 of 3)

Ellsworth 1894–1984 American diplomat

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Other Words from bunker


bunkered \ˈbəŋ-​kərd \ adjective

Examples of bunker in a Sentence


The ammunition is stored in concrete bunkers.


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

The clammy gray walls of the bunker are still hung with military maps and aerial photos of Soviet missile silos faded from decades of salt air. Tony Perrottet, WSJ, "A Weirdly Fascinating Cold-War Tour of Havana," 20 Nov. 2018 In the 2015 Travelers Championship, Casey lost on a second playoff hole to Bubba Watson after an errand shot out of a greenside bunker. William S. Paxton, USA TODAY, "Two years after losing in a playoff, Paul Casey takes lead at Travelers Championship," 23 June 2018 When the shooting stopped Saturday, 11 people lay dead inside the bunker-like concrete synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood, the heart of the city’s Jewish community. Allen G. Breed, The Seattle Times, "Holocaust survivor faces evil, cheats death for second time," 30 Oct. 2018 Cheers erupted inside the bunker about three minutes into the flight, when the second stage separated from the rocket. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Inside the eight desperate weeks that saved SpaceX from ruin," 21 Sep. 2018 Grimmer drove into a fairway bunker and laid up 30 yards short of the green. James Weber, Cincinnati.com, "Mariemont grad Will Grimmer continues hot summer with Met golf championship," 1 July 2018 His tee shot on the par-3 11th hole left him with a dreadful lie in thick grass behind the green, and his second shot went over the green and into a bunker. Brian Costa, WSJ, "Brooks Koepka Wins Back-to-Back U.S. Open Titles," 17 June 2018 One hole later, Woods was errant off the tee yet again, firing his shot into the 201-yard par-3 16th into a bunker. Nick Schwartz, For The Win, "Tiger Woods got off to a disastrous start at the Memorial Tournament," 31 May 2018 On 18, a downhill 370-yard par-4, Capan, sitting at 10-under, hit his drive into a bunker about 40 yards short of the green, then hit his second shot to about 15 feet. azcentral, "Arizona high school golfer Frankie Capan shoots 59, wins state title," 10 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

For two weeks, a Syrian military juggernaut has borne down on rebels bunkered in the country’s south, leaving them with a grim choice: capitulate or face annihilation. Nabih Bulos, latimes.com, "As a government offensive bears down on them, Syrian rebels expect no help from onetime ally U.S.," 5 July 2018 The Cincinnati backline was pivotal in the second half as the home side began to bunker in. Charlie Hatch, Cincinnati.com, "Player ratings from FC Cincinnati's 2-0 win over Ottawa Fury," 1 July 2018 That's because Kanye West—who seems to have bunkered down in the moneyed wilds of Jackson Hole over the past several weeks—sat down for an interview with interior designer Axel Vervoordt that just published in the Hollywood Reporter. Cam Wolf, GQ, "Here’s How Kanye Feels About Virgil Abloh Getting the Louis Vuitton Gig," 13 Apr. 2018 Vancouver was bunkered into its defensive third protecting a 1-0 lead when the Dynamo went to work. Corey Roepken, Houston Chronicle, "Free Kicks: Reaction to the Dynamo’s 2-1 loss to Vancouver," 11 Mar. 2018 A thousand miles away, the American Conference champion Bearcats bunkered in their championship penthouse in Orlando. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Paul Daugherty: UC, Xavier hoops on identical historical path in 2018 NCAA Tournament," 11 Mar. 2018 The Norse were on the back foot and forced to bunker down for long stretches, but that was to be expected against one of the most monied sides in American soccer's lower leagues. Patrick Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "Match report: FC Cincinnati downs NKU in preseason action, Nashville SC up next," 27 Feb. 2018 His forgettable shots included bunkering a wedge after a perfect 319-yard drive on No. Randy Youngman, New York Times, "Tiger Woods Returns to PGA Tour With ‘Tempered’ Expectations," 25 Jan. 2018 This means that large animals will bunker down in their indoor enclosures, whiles smaller residents will be moved to the safety of individual kennels in zoo buildings. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "Protecting Animals During Hurricanes: How Zoos and Aquariums May Handle Irma," 8 Sep. 2017

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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Dictionary Entries near bunker


bunk bed

bunk car




bunker buster

Statistics for bunker

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bunker

The first known use of bunker was in 1839

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More Definitions for bunker



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

Spanish Central: Translation of bunker

Nglish: Translation of bunker for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bunker for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bunker

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


a knickknack or trinket

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