\ ˈdəŋk How to pronounce dunk (audio) \
dunked; dunking; dunks

Definition of dunk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to dip (something, such as a piece of bread) into a beverage while eating
2 : to dip or submerge temporarily in liquid
3 : to throw (a basketball) into the basket from above the rim

intransitive verb

1 : to submerge oneself in water
2 : to make a dunk shot in basketball



Definition of dunk (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act or action of dunking especially : dunk shot

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Synonyms for dunk

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of dunk in a Sentence

Verb I like to dunk my doughnut in my coffee. She dunked him while they were swimming. He dunked the ladle into the soup. He could dunk when he was 16. Noun The pass led to a dunk.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Maryland went on a 6-0 run to push its lead to 12, including four straight points by senior guard Darryl Morsell, who made an acrobatic layup and then ran the floor for a transition dunk after a steal by junior forward Jairus Hamilton. Daniel Oyefusi, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland men’s basketball beats Rutgers, 68-59, for fourth straight win, bolstering NCAA tournament hopes," 21 Feb. 2021 The Mustangs got out to its largest lead after Kendric Davis knocked down a 3-pointer, and Ethan Chargois threw a pass off the backboard on a breakaway, only for Hunt to catch the ball and dunk it. Sam Blum, Dallas News, "SMU fades late against No. 5 Houston in battle for early lead in AAC standings," 4 Jan. 2021 The second half was another story, as the Steelers stopped trying to dink and dunk themselves to victory and had their aggressiveness pay off in spades, with the team earning its first A.F.C. North title in three seasons. New York Times, "What We Learned From Week 16 of the N.F.L. Season," 27 Dec. 2020 Azubuike is a bust-his-tail shot-blocker/rebounder who likes to dunk a lot. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Gordon Monson: Holy Azubuike! The Utah Jazz go big in the draft, but they need much, much more.," 19 Nov. 2020 Ole Miss throws its extended halfcourt zone at the Razorbacks for the first time and Arkansas gets a Connor Vanover dunk out of it. Scottie Bordelon, Arkansas Online, "Follow live: Razorbacks host Ole Miss," 28 Jan. 2021 The Patriots outscored the Jets 15-9 in the fourth quarter and Jackson’s dunk with 0.9 seconds left sent the game to OT. Al.com Reports, al, "North Hoops Roundup: Hartselle knocks off No. 1 Huffman, Lee-Huntsville downs Mae Jemison," 25 Jan. 2021 So the researchers decided to dunk the birds in the water, simulating a fall from the sky. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Watch this ‘nonswimming’ bird swim like a champ, giving clues to evolution of penguins," 5 Jan. 2021 The shot rimmed out, but Mitchell’s steal and dunk on the next possession evened everything up in a game that seemed long lost. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Sizzling game for Aztecs’ Matt Mitchell unfolds in silence against BYU," 18 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The dunk was his first in exactly a year, his last coming with the New York Knicks against the Charlotte Hornets on Feb. 26, 2020. Omari Sankofa Ii, Detroit Free Press, "Dennis Smith Jr. is finding his mojo with Detroit Pistons and showing he belongs," 27 Feb. 2021 But after Antetokounmpo hit a jumper and then took a rebound the length of the court for a dunk, Milwaukee led 128-125 when New Orleans called timeout with 1:10 left. Tom Kertscher, Star Tribune, "Antetokounmpo scores 38 as Bucks outlast Pelicans 129-125," 26 Feb. 2021 Technically, the dunk began as soon as Zubac caught a loose ball just outside the free-throw line and began rumbling toward the rim with malicious intentions. Los Angeles Times, "The true origin of Ivica Zubac’s viral dunk: Five takeaways from Clippers’ win," 24 Feb. 2021 That’s a big plus for the Razorbacks. 15:10, 1H — Colin Castleton completed the three-point play, but Arkansas answered moments later with a Connor Vanover lob for a dunk. Scottie Bordelon, Arkansas Online, "Hogs win 7th straight in SEC, down Florida 75-64," 17 Feb. 2021 The dunk was so raw and rough that Alabama coach Nate Oats felt the need to apologize to one of his old mentors. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "Alabama hoops: If the rim is there, then just try and rip it down," 14 Feb. 2021 DeRozan completed the dunk atop a ducking Okogie, who also picked up a foul for being slow to abandon ship. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "As an old record falls, DeMar DeRozan continues with his San Antonio Spurs second act," 5 Feb. 2021 Bates wasn't as aggressive hunting his shot but still had 20 points, cocked it back one time for a dunk and earned six free throws. Tyler J. Davis, Detroit Free Press, "What to make of Mikey Williams vs. Emoni Bates: 3 observations from Lake Norman-Ypsi Prep," 7 Feb. 2021 Bazemore made a perfect backdoor cut for a dunk to trim the deficit to 128-122 with 2:30 remaining and almost stole the game. Rusty Simmons, San Francisco Chronicle, "Kent Bazemore scores 20 points; provides more leadership after Warriors' loss," 6 Feb. 2021

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


1926, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


circa 1944, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dunk


Pennsylvania German dunke, from Middle High German dunken, from Old High German dunkōn — more at tinge

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Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dunk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dunk. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for dunk



English Language Learners Definition of dunk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to dip (food) quickly into a liquid (such as coffee or milk) while eating
chiefly US : to push (someone or something) under water or other liquid for a short amount of time
basketball : to jump high in the air and push (the ball) down through the basket



English Language Learners Definition of dunk (Entry 2 of 2)

basketball : a shot that is made by jumping high in the air and pushing the ball down through the basket


\ ˈdəŋk How to pronounce dunk (audio) \
dunked; dunking

Kids Definition of dunk

1 : to dip into liquid I like to dunk my cookies in milk.
2 : to jump and push the ball down through the basket in basketball

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Nglish: Translation of dunk for Spanish Speakers

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