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


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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 The Rams have a championship defense but a clunker quarterback. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Jared Goff is Jameis Winston West, and that doesn’t bode well for Rams," 28 Dec. 2020 Their first game back was a clunker, a 124-104 loss that was not as close as the score indicated. Jamal Collier,, "The Chicago Bulls returned to the United Center for their season opener, officially experiencing empty stands for the first time in a 124-104 loss to the Atlanta Hawks," 23 Dec. 2020 Instead of clinching the NFC South with their 10th straight win, the Saints had an uncharacteristic clunker against the Eagles — a team that had won only three games all season and not since Nov. 1. Amie Just | Staff Writer,, "The Saints were flat, and it was costly; here's what happened in a Week 14 loss to Eagles," 13 Dec. 2020 Toppin, the eighth overall pick and hyped rookie, had an encouraging debut two days earlier, and followed with a clunker Sunday: four points, 1-for-8 shooting (1-for-6 from beyond the arc). Stefan Bondy,, "Knicks’ young reserves fire bricks in exhibition loss to Pistons," 13 Dec. 2020 Impressive rookie Justin Herbert had a bad game Sunday, his first clunker as an NFL quarterback. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Herbert’s clunker a surprise, but Chargers special teams a chronic issue," 15 Nov. 2020 Chark did have seven targets Sunday, but caught just one in yet another clunker by the Jags. Tony Holm, USA TODAY, "Fantasy football stock watch: Chargers QB Justin Herbert latest rookie to make his mark," 27 Oct. 2020 The defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs, meantime, dropped a 40-32 clunker to the Las Vegas Raiders, snapping a franchise-best 13-game winning streak. Mark Heim |, al, "Chiefs vs. Bills live stream (10/19): How to watch Josh Allen vs. Patrick Mahomes online, TV, time," 19 Oct. 2020 The defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs, meantime, dropped a 40-32 clunker to the Las Vegas Raiders, snapping a franchise-best 13-game winning streak. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "Kansas City Chiefs vs Buffalo Bills: How to watch free live streams, TV options, live updates, odds (10/19/20)," 19 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for clunker

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The first known use of clunker was in 1930

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Statistics for clunker

Last Updated

9 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Clunker.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce clunker (audio)

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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