1 of 2


dunked; dunking; dunks

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

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


2 of 2


: the act or action of dunking
especially : dunk shot

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
At the table, grab a warm flatbread and get to dunking. David Tanis, New York Times, 28 Feb. 2024 The Timberwolves extended their edge to 91-64 late in the third as Reid capped a 17-3 run by dunking and drawing a foul for a 3-point play. Steve Megargee, USA TODAY, 9 Feb. 2024 Chien and Wu take turns swishing the meat around in the hot broth, then dunking the slices into their prepared sauces. Jenn Harris, Los Angeles Times, 13 Mar. 2024 But the Heat began the second half on an 8-0 run featuring two threes from Duncan Robinson and a steal and dunk from Jimmy Butler. Barry Jackson, Miami Herald, 28 Feb. 2024 Stolen Nike products inside a warehouse in Hawthorne, Calif.LAPD Officials shared photos of the warehouse revealing shelves seemingly endlessly stocked with boxes of shoes, including highly coveted Nike sneakers and dunk shoes. Marlene Lenthang, NBC News, 30 Jan. 2024 The durable toys held up through chewing, clawing, and being dunked in water. Cai Cramer, Peoplemag, 16 Feb. 2024 What's better than fresh crab legs dunked in butter? Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 Feb. 2024 The Sixers responded with a pair of key putbacks, with Kelly Oubre Jr. following his own shot from the right corner and dunking in traffic before Council added another follow of his effort in the paint to stretch it to 104-98. Ian Nicholas Quillen, USA TODAY, 11 Feb. 2024
So does hitting the trampoline at the correct moment while a basketball is hovering in the air, waiting to be snatched up and thrown down in an acrobatic dunk. Roderick Boone, Charlotte Observer, 28 Mar. 2024 Fox opened the fourth quarter with another 3 and then threw down an alley-oop dunk from Malik Monk off a steal from Ellis. Chris Biderman, Sacramento Bee, 24 Mar. 2024 Adams beat the press for a dunk of his own, but Samford responded with a 3-pointer. Shreyas Laddha, Kansas City Star, 22 Mar. 2024 The highlight play swiftly went viral on social media and thrilled Edwards’ teammates, with the ‘Wolves bench barely able to contain themselves after the monster dunk. Sam Joseph, CNN, 19 Mar. 2024 On the other end, Josh Green snuck behind every Warrior and was rewarded with an alley-oop dunk. Danny Emerman, The Mercury News, 16 Mar. 2024 The Bruins were celebrating midway through the second half after Williams took a touch pass from Mara and drove for a dunk that caused Bona to triumphantly throw both arms into the air from the bench with his team ahead 54-51. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 3 Mar. 2024 Caleb Martin then threw down a high-flying dunk to extend the Heat’s lead to eight with 49.1 seconds left, closing the door on the Kings’ comeback attempt. Anthony Chiang, Miami Herald, 27 Feb. 2024 Alabama broke Arkansas' press before the Razorbacks could foul and freshman forward Mark Walters scored on a breakaway dunk with three seconds left to clinch the game. Bob Holt, arkansasonline.com, 10 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dunk.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


1926, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


circa 1944, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dunk was in 1926

Dictionary Entries Near dunk

Cite this Entry

“Dunk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dunk. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: to dip (as a doughnut) into liquid (as coffee)
: to plunge oneself into water

More from Merriam-Webster on dunk

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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