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

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Other Words from bunker


bunkered \ ˈbəŋ-​kərd How to pronounce bunkered (audio) \ 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

Winden’s Most Baffling Grandfather-Grandaughter Couple In the bunker, Peter and Elisabeth are waiting out the apocalypse with adult Claudia and Regina. Abbey Maxbauer, refinery29.com, "Where The End Of Dark Season 2 Leaves Us," 30 June 2019 Tiger found a bunker with his second shot on the par-5 18th, but saved par with a clean escape and long two-putt save. The Si Staff, SI.com, "2019 U.S. Open Live Blog: Tracking Tiger, Koepka and Round One Leaders at Pebble," 13 June 2019 Kisner, who has led or been tied for the lead after all three rounds, found a bunker off the tee at the par-4 second hole and made a 6. Fox News, "The Latest: Kisner drops out of lead at British Open," 22 July 2018 Unable to defend the islands, the British fled and, over the course of three years of Japanese occupation, Ross Island was pillaged for raw material and vandalized to build bunkers. Neelima Vallangi, Smithsonian, "India’s Abandoned Island of Colonial Horror," 8 May 2018 This used to be the province of a few who built bunkers and stocked it with survival rations, but a new, more mainstream industry is growing. Mark Penn, WSJ, "Small Trends Can Be BIG," 16 Mar. 2018 Woodland invited her to hit a shot on the par-3 16th (into a bunker). Doug Ferguson, Houston Chronicle, "Gary Woodland claims U.S. Open title at Pebble Beach," 17 June 2019 Woodland learned that in January, or perhaps saw it more clearly, when Amy dug into the bunker and blasted her sand wedge shot to within 8 feet of the hole. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Paul Daugherty: What US Open champion Gary Woodland learned from Amy Bockerstette," 17 June 2019 In 2012, a fan who stole onto a fairway to take a cup of bunker sand was thrown in jail. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, "Inside the Cultish Dreamworld of Augusta National," 14 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Though the United States dominated possession, Sweden absorbed the pressure and bunkered on defense to compress space and limit opportunities. Kelly Whiteside, New York Times, "U.S. Faces Sweden at the World Cup With Something to Gain but Even More to Prove," 20 June 2019 The Swedes bunkered in on defense and advanced on penalties after a 1-1 draw, handing the United States its earliest-ever exit from the Olympic tournament. Anne Peterson, courant.com, "US defeats rival Sweden 2-0, finishes atop group," 20 June 2019 Said pick will be made three days from now, and as the draft looms Thursday, the picture will continue to clarify as teams bunker down and make their final preparations. Jeremy Woo, SI.com, "2019 NBA Mock Draft 10.0: Anthony Davis Trade Shakes Up the Lottery," 17 June 2019 Aegean Marine sells bunkering fuel, serving cruise ships, container ships and, for a period, the U.S. Navy. Costas Paris, WSJ, "Alleged Fraud Surprises Activist Investors in Shipping Fuel Company," 6 Nov. 2018 But will an all-out attack work against teams that won’t bunker — in particular, a potential matchup with host France in the quarterfinals? Jonathan Tannenwald, https://www.inquirer.com, "Meet the 23 players on the U.S. national women’s soccer team for the 2019 World Cup," 4 June 2019 Aegean Marine said an internal investigation determined nearly $300 million in funds was filtered to a company called OilTank Engineering & Consulting linked to a 2010 deal to build a ship-bunkering terminal in Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates. Tom Corrigan, WSJ, "Aegean Marine Wins Court Approval for Bankruptcy Financing," 9 Nov. 2018 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

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

11 Jul 2019

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

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an act or instance of editing or removing

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