\ 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 On offense, Germany creates spacing, drawing defenders toward the basket by threatening to dunk a lob in pick-and-roll situations. Greg Luca, ExpressNews.com, "UTSA freshman Germany expanding role as season progresses," 12 Feb. 2020 Every student who raised $75 or more got a chance to dunk someone. Sam Boyer, cleveland, "Annual triathlon at Brunswick’s Huntington Elementary School gets kids and staff moving: Photos," 20 Sep. 2019 Participants may try to make Curry’s buzzer-beating shots, run 40 feet and be lifted by a harness to dunk and celebrate in the locker room with parkas and sparkling water. Rusty Simmons, SFChronicle.com, "Sweet deal: Warriors join forces with Candytopia to create Hooptopia," 22 Aug. 2019 Rest assured, Cincinnati Reds fans, that your favorite 36-year-old first baseman and future Reds Hall of Famer is still spry and athletic enough to dunk a basketball. Dave Clark, Cincinnati.com, "Joey Votto says he can still dunk basketball at 36," 16 Jan. 2020 But on two possessions, Johnson tried to dunk the ball but those clanked off the rim. Richard Obert, azcentral, "'It's on me': Dan Majerle blames self after Grand Canyon's latest home struggles in loss to California Baptist," 11 Jan. 2020 Folks on the internet were quick to dunk all over this ad and its tone-deaf husband, and then Ryan Reynolds, in his infinite wisdom, tapped Ruiz for a pseudo-sequel. Nick Romano, EW.com, "'Peloton husband' gifts Peloton bike to real-life girlfriend: 'Pls don't leave me'," 26 Dec. 2019 At one point in the first half, Morant showed off his incredible athleticism, taking off from just inside the free throw line and trying to dunk over Love, who was attempting to draw a charge. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers have first winning streak since early November after 114-107 win against Memphis Grizzlies," 21 Dec. 2019 DANCE Nitti Gritti and his best bud DJ Diesel are about to dunk on the competition. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Listen to Nitti Gritti & Shaq Stomp The Competition On 'Takin' Over': Exclusive," 14 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Personal favorite highlights include his dunk contest win in 1997 and the 81 points dropped on the Toronto Raptors in 2006. Duarte Mendonca, CNN, "A fan's homage to Kobe Bryant," 28 Jan. 2020 Nettles began to show flashes of his ability two summers ago before his sophomore year while throwing down dunks at the Word Church. Matt Goul, cleveland, "Cleveland Central Catholic needed a breakout season from Deshaun Nettles, and he has risen to the challenge," 19 Jan. 2020 Yes, the trivial ramifications of this week’s disappearing dunk at the AT&T Center pale in comparison to the geopolitical fallout from October’s NBA-China firestorm. Mike Finger, ExpressNews.com, "Houston Rockets’ protest leaves NBA with only one real option," 5 Dec. 2019 The Aggies finally grabbed a lead at 47-45 when Nebo blocked a shot and Chandler finished the resulting fast break with a dunk at the 7:52 mark. Brent Zwenerman, Houston Chronicle, "Aggies overcome second half deficit to defeat Louisiana-Monroe," 11 Nov. 2019 Cody Zeller seemed to dunk at will, and Bridges put a spin move on a flat-footed Markkanen struck the perfect picture of the Bulls’ defensive woes. Phil Thompson, chicagotribune.com, "New Bulls look a lot like the old in losing their season opener to the Hornets, 126-125," 23 Oct. 2019 The highlight reel Kahlil Whitney Whitney was robbed of the Big Blue Madness dunk contest despite slamming one down after leaping over three trainers. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "UK season preview: Get to know the 2019-20 Kentucky basketball players and their roles," 12 Oct. 2019 The Hornets, who are playing without their first-round pick PJ Washington due to a foot injury, got 23 points and seven rebounds from Miles Bridges, who competed in last year’s dunk contest. Ira Winderman, courant.com, "Butler says Wade sold him on Heat," 8 July 2019 There were possessions where a guy turns the ball over, chases the other guy down, block a dunk at the rim. Kenny Ducey, SI.com, "Could Kevin Knox Be the Missing Piece the Knicks Need?," 22 June 2018

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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Statistics for dunk

Last Updated

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dunk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dunk. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for dunk


How to pronounce dunk (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on dunk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dunk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dunk

Spanish Central: Translation of dunk

Nglish: Translation of dunk for Spanish Speakers

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