clunk·​er | \ ˈkləŋ-kər How to pronounce clunker (audio) \

Definition of clunker

1 : an old or badly working piece of machinery especially : a dilapidated automobile
2 : someone or something notably unsuccessful told a joke that was a real clunker

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Synonyms for clunker


beater, crate, jalopy, junker

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Examples of clunker in a Sentence

My first car was an old clunker that kept breaking down. That joke was a real clunker. The director's recent films have all been clunkers.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Brett Anderson has drawn up five wins over his past seven starts with a 3.86 ERA (a seven-run, three-inning clunker inflated that average). Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "A’s postseason hopes rest on patchwork pitching staff," 11 July 2019 Daniel Mengden is trying to find consistency to the tune of a 4.24 ERA over three starts since his most recent call-up on June 26 and Chris Bassitt — despite a clunker to end the unofficial half — strung together a handful of quality starts. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "A’s postseason hopes rest on patchwork pitching staff," 11 July 2019 Scouts who came to see Bumgarner on Thursday saw a clunker. John Shea,, "Giants lose 9-8 after Bumgarner knocked out by Muncy’s Dodgers," 20 June 2019 Most seasons of Black Mirror have, if not an outright clunker, at least one episode that falls short. Peter Rubin, WIRED, "Black Mirror Isn't Surprising Anymore. We're Screwed," 5 June 2019 This likable and redoubtable Bruins team, players who poured their hearts into the season and sacrificed their bodies during it, deserved better than to go out with a clunker. Globe Staff,, "To many, the Bruins’ loss is a rebalancing of the sports universe," 15 June 2019 Four batters into Friday night’s game, pitcher Drew Pomeranz appeared on his way to another clunker. John Shea,, "Stunner at other Oracle: Giants beat Kershaw, Dodgers," 7 June 2019 Balenciaga’s triple-S sneaker was one of the first to hit the scene, and those clunkers have since been worn by fashion girls such as Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner. Vogue, "Forget Dad Sneakers—Kendall Jenner Is Doing the Dad Jacket," 8 May 2019 The video characterizes the transition from Windows 7 to Windows 10 like replacing a wallet, or upgrading from a beloved old clunker to a more modern SUV. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Windows 7 will use pop-ups to warn users of the operating system's impending death," 12 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clunker.' 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 clunker

1930, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for clunker

Last Updated

15 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for clunker

The first known use of clunker was in 1930

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English Language Learners Definition of clunker

chiefly US, informal
: an old car or machine that does not work well
: something that is a complete failure

More from Merriam-Webster on clunker

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with clunker

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Comments on clunker

What made you want to look up clunker? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a period when something is suspended

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