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 tournament field scored 172-under over the course of four days, which includes a tremendous eagle by Jordan Spieth from the greenside bunker. Christopher Hanna, courant.com, "From Best Round To Top Moments, Here Are The 2018 Travelers Highlights," 25 June 2018 Jordan Spieth holed out from the bunker to beat Daniel Berger in a playoff. Daniel Rapaport, SI.com, "Travelers Championship Preview: History, Field, Odds, Predictions," 20 June 2018 Playing in the Memorial for the first time in three years, Woods birdied two of the first five holes Sunday before hitting from a fairway bunker on No. Mitch Stacy, The Seattle Times, "Woods happy with his game despite another Sunday fade," 3 June 2018 An official involved in the planning for the visit said there was even discussion of having the president visit the underground London bunker used by Mr. Churchill as a war room during World War II. Katie Rogers, New York Times, "British Roll Out Trump’s Political Idol: Winston Churchill," 12 July 2018 Near the headless corpse, investigators discovered a bunker containing supplies, guns and ammo dug into the hillside. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Man on the run charged with murder after his DNA was found on samurai sword believed to be used to behead woman: police," 30 June 2018 The course features narrow fairways and penal rough, as well as green complexes that are guarded by bunkers aplenty and dense rough. Daniel Rapaport, SI.com, "Quicken Loans National Preview: History, Field, Odds, Predictions," 27 June 2018 These images revealed what were identified as active chemical munitions bunkers and areas where earth had been graded and moved to hide evidence of chemical production. Melinda Laituri, Scientific American, "Should We Always Trust What We See in Satellite Images?," 4 June 2018 The renovations will include increasing green sizes, creating championship bunker conditions, a new irrigation system and various other updates. George Stoia, Detroit Free Press, "Oakland Hills to seek major tournaments after South Course renovations," 13 July 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

Phrases Related to bunker

be bunkered

Statistics for bunker

Last Updated

17 Oct 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

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