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

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 Photo: Elsa/Getty Images Tuesday fell squarely in the clunker category. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Red Sox Roll Over Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series," 24 Oct. 2018 Following the Game 1 clunker against Indiana, Lue tweaked his starting lineup, going to a five-out group, surrounding James with four shooters -- a way Cleveland has played so effectively over the last few years. Chris Fedor,, "Cleveland Cavaliers might have found trusted closing group, relying on familiar faces in crunch time," 25 Apr. 2018 Well, Babe Ruth had a few clunkers, too, back a century ago. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Angels' Shohei Ohtani removed from game against Red Sox with blister after two innings," 17 Apr. 2018 Between the Chiefs’ inexplicable mid-season clunkers and their stupefying postseason history of follies and futility, no one who follows this franchise could assume a diabolical trap door wasn’t waiting to spring open in the playoffs. Vahe Gregorian, kansascity, "Another early exit: Chiefs find new way to write same old story," 6 Jan. 2018

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

20 Jun 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

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