1 of 2


clanked; clanking; clanks

intransitive verb

: to make a clank or series of clanks
the radiator hissed and clanked
: to go with or as if with a clank
tanks clanking through the streets

transitive verb

: to cause to clank
clankingly adverb


2 of 2


: a sharp brief metallic ringing sound

Examples of clank in a Sentence

Verb The radiator hissed and clanked. The empty can clanked along the sidewalk. a ghost clanking its chains Noun the car is making a funny clank, and this can't be good
Recent Examples on the Web
What about that Alexander McQueen dress of clanking razor clamshells? Jason Farago, New York Times, 9 May 2024 But when the reigning Big East player of the year clanked three straight free throws down the stretch, No. 17 Marquette had to hang on by the skin of its teeth Saturday. Mike Fitzpatrick, USA TODAY, 20 Jan. 2024 Some of the grounders clanked off his brown, blue and red mitt. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 31 Mar. 2024 The Aztecs stumbled through a season of elevated expectations, losing 10 times, switching the starting lineup in February, tinkering with the rotation, blowing late leads, crumbling in crunch time, clanking shots, finishing fifth in the Mountain West, losing in the conference tournament final. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Mar. 2024 Hart clanked the free throw off the front of the rim, but no Musketeer boxed out the shooter. Shelby Dermer, The Enquirer, 4 Jan. 2024 Two minutes into the fourth quarter as the Nuggets were trying to conjure more second-unit magic, Doncic clanked a 3-pointer but chased down his own rebound in mid-air behind the baseline, chucking it off an unsuspecting opponent then out of bounds. Bennett Durando, The Denver Post, 17 Mar. 2024 Micah Parrish has launched 40 in the last eight games and clanked 30 of them. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Mar. 2024 After a Chiefs punt clanked off 49ers rookie Darrell Luter and Ray-Ray McCloud couldn’t scoop it up, the Chiefs promptly converted that turnover into Mahomes’ 16-yard touchdown pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling (over linebacker Oren Burks). Cam Inman, The Mercury News, 12 Feb. 2024
In a sprawling new plant in China’s southern Anhui province, armies of orange robotic arms twist, whir, and clank, producing Volkswagen’s latest EVs for the Chinese market. Ann Scott Tyson, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 May 2024 Feel the noise Rumble, wheeze, groan, roar, whoosh, clank, thud, creak and repeat — this, for me, is the onset of bus reverie. Mark Gozonsky, Los Angeles Times, 25 Mar. 2024 At Vigilante Kitchen and Bar, a shiny, stainless steel tray with three compartments clanks onto the table. Detroit Free Press, 6 Mar. 2024 Making fences with hanging metal strips that clink and clank in the wind, also known as Kasaine fences, makes for a good noise deterrent. Sofia Quaglia, Discover Magazine, 30 Oct. 2023 The officials ruled that Hohn was fouled against SDSU’s press, but the 73.6 percent career shooter went clank, clank. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Dec. 2023 The clank and ratchet of metal on metal and the thunk of a round being rammed into the breech all recalled the mechanics of ancient cannon and trebuchet, despite the advanced targeting hardware. Hope Hodge Seck, Popular Mechanics, 21 Aug. 2023 In an effort to prove its cleverness, Reptile clanks, rattles and stumbles in its second half. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2019 Out came inert and harmless scrap metal, falling off a conveyor belt into an ordinary brown dumpster with a resounding clank. John Ismay, New York Times, 6 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'clank.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



probably imitative

First Known Use


1656, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1656, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of clank was in 1656

Dictionary Entries Near clank

Cite this Entry

“Clank.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
: to make or move with a clank or series of clanks


2 of 2 noun
: a sharp short ringing sound

More from Merriam-Webster on clank

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