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

The need for such weapons first arose during the 1991 Gulf War, when U.S. and Coalition forces realized Saddam Hussein had buried much of Iraq’s command, control, and communications infrastructure in underground bunkers. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch a Stealth Bomber Drop Two of World’s Largest Conventional Bombs," 27 Dec. 2018 In early 1945, he was shuffled to a camp near Dachau and put to work building underground bunkers. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Holocaust Survivor Rushed to Make Up for Lost Time and Lives," 2 Nov. 2018 A year ago, a deadly fire exposed Daniel Beckwitt's curious campaign to build an underground bunker for protection from a nuclear attack. Michael Kunzelman, Fox News, "Deadly fire exposes wealthy man's secret underground tunnels," 9 Sep. 2018 Advertising Behind him was Casey, in one of the bunkers that resemble a miniature version of Oakmont’s church pews, facing a key shot into the wind to an elevated green. Doug Ferguson, The Seattle Times, "Casey holds on to repeat title at Valspar Championship," 24 Mar. 2019 Following the detonation of several nuclear devices, members of society’s upper echelon are sent to live in a small bunker with a select few who claim their job is to keep everybody safe. Anne T. Donahue, Marie Claire, "In 2018, Horror Movies Are the Most Comforting Things I Watch," 19 Nov. 2018 The trouble spots range from an abundance of bunkers to Barry Burn, a creek that meanders through the course, adding risk to an array of shots. Brian Costa, WSJ, "The Beauty of Carnoustie Is Ugly Golf," 18 July 2018 Possibly the most prominent change is Hanse’s reintroduction of clusters of smaller bunkers from Ross’ design. Joe Juliano, Philly.com, "Aronimink ready to show off restored course at September PGA event," 9 July 2018 Casey blinked first with a bogey on the 11th hole, and another on the par-3 12th when his tee shot came up short and into the bunker. Doug Ferguson, The Seattle Times, "Mickelson beats everyone but the dark at Pebble," 11 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

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

2 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bunker

The first known use of bunker was in 1839

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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 strong desire or propensity

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