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

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 The dunes outside Termote’s house are still lined with concrete bunkers built by the Germans to defend its U-boat bases from British attack. Joshua Levine, Smithsonian, "The Hunt for the Notorious U-Boat UB-29," 19 Apr. 2018 Michael finds the hidden entrance to the bunker and tries forcing it open. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Halloween Is More Than a Horror Movie—It's a Tribute to Mothers and Daughters," 20 Oct. 2018 Squires drove into the fairway but his approach shot went into a greenside bunker just short of the green. James Weber, Cincinnati.com, "Mariemont grad Will Grimmer continues hot summer with Met golf championship," 1 July 2018 Woods’s tee shot went short and fell into the bunker. Bill Pennington, New York Times, "Dustin Johnson Pulls Away in Round 2 of the U.S. Open," 15 June 2018 Shoppers emerge from their celebration bunkers, dragging their bags of gifts to return. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox, "The bleak hope of the day-after-Christmas sale," 27 Dec. 2018 Then Betty brings up Jughead, and Ethel doesn’t think Jughead is into Betty anymore because of their kiss in the bunker (which Betty calls out as blackmail). Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, ""Riverdale" Recap Season 3 Episode 7: Why Has No One Noticed Betty Is Missing?," 6 Dec. 2018 The centerpiece of Laurie’s house is a basement bunker, where some revelations are made. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Halloween Is More Than a Horror Movie—It's a Tribute to Mothers and Daughters," 20 Oct. 2018

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

21 Feb 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

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