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

Poston took sole possession of the lead with a birdie on that hole after placing a bunker shot 6 feet from the flagstick. Joedy Mccreary, BostonGlobe.com, "With zero bogeys in 72 holes, J.T. Poston claims Wyndham title," 5 Aug. 2019 Mastercard, for example, has a windowless bunker at its data center in Missouri, where a group of security experts work. Stacy Cowley, New York Times, "For Big Banks, It’s an Endless Fight With Hackers," 30 July 2019 On one trip together to the western city of Herat, Buttigieg and his DEA chief, Joe Kipp, hustled under a concrete bunker as explosions and gunfire erupted outside a military base manned by Italian soldiers. Author: Steve Hendrix, Joshua Partlow, Anchorage Daily News, "How Pete Buttigieg went from war protester to ‘packing my bags for Afghanistan’," 29 July 2019 Recent political history shows that the Democratic model of continual retreat into watchful, timorous bunker mode is a losing proposition. Elizabeth Spiers, The New Republic, "Beyond Pelosi," 24 July 2019 As the project progressed, Hackman noticed the bunkers disappearing en mass. Laura Mallonee, WIRED, "Cold War–Era Bunker Mania Forever Altered Albania," 23 July 2019 Meyers put on his bunker pants -- part of his firefighter gear -- and assessed the situation. Christina Zdanowicz, CNN, "When a man's tire blew out and his car rolled over, a group of strangers saved him," 22 July 2019 The man once uploaded videos showing his exploration of the Nazi bunker where Eaton’s body was found, according to the news outlet. Fox News, "Priest's son charged in murder of American biologist in Greece as grisly new details emerge," 17 July 2019 The shocking news comes nearly one week after a spokesperson for the police in Crete said authorities had discovered Eaton’s body approximately 200 feet inside of a cave — a site that was formerly used as a World War II bunker. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "Man, 27, Confesses to the Murder of American Scientist Suzanne Eaton in Greece," 15 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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. Anchorage Daily News, "US dominates rival Sweden 2-0 to remain undefeated," 21 June 2019 Former Housing Secretary Julian Castro and team bunkered for four days in a downtown Miami hotel, holding daily news briefings and studying not just his policy proposals but also those of his rivals. latimes.com, "In Miami, the Democratic debate circus begins well before the candidates take the stage," 26 June 2019 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

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

8 Aug 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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of or relating to the heavens

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