\ˈdəŋk \

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

dip, douse (also dowse), duck, immerse, sop, souse, submerge, submerse

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Examples of dunk in a Sentence


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.


The pass led to a dunk.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

His only miss was a dunk attempt that caused Walton to quip that Frye wasn't allowed to dunk anymore. Tania Ganguli, latimes.com, "Five takeaways from the Lakers' 122-112 win over the San Antonio Spurs," 5 Apr. 2018 Moser was asked about Majerus and gave a lengthy answer before making a joke about his team not being able to dunk. Michelle R. Martinelli, USA TODAY, "Loyola coach Porter Moser pokes fun at team not dunking," 29 Mar. 2018 Nevada’s fearlessness showed when powerful forward Jordan Caroline soared in the lane attempting to dunk on Krutwig, drawing a foul. David Haugh, chicagotribune.com, "Talk of the Townes; big shot by junior guard lifts Loyola past Nevada into Elite 8," 23 Mar. 2018 Stephen Curry missed a corner-3 and Tristan Thompson dunked the ball home, forcing Golden State to take a timeout with their lead down to 6. Benjamin Hoffman And Marc Stein, New York Times, "N.B.A. Finals 2018: Warriors Roll Over Cavs in Game 2," 4 June 2018 As Stephenson jumped high in the air trying to dunk over DeAndre Jordan, Jordan met Stephenson at the basket, knocking him hard to the floor. Clifton Brown, Indianapolis Star, "Victor Oladipo puts together absurd statline as Pacers get fifth straight win," 1 Apr. 2018 Kansas’ Julian Wright and the Allen Fieldhouse crowd were pumped up after Wright dunked over the Sooners in the second half. kansascity, "How The Star covered every one of KU's record 14 straight Big 12 basketball titles | The Kansas City Star," 1 Mar. 2018 Montverde's Balsa Koprivica dunks over Orlando Christian Prep's Kai Jones. Buddy Collings, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Oak Ridge, Leesburg lead; OCP climbs in Super 16 basketball rankings," 22 Jan. 2018 On the fifth tip, Gordon secured the ball and dunked over Mavs center Salah Mejri with 1:19 left. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "Second-half lineup change sparks Mavs to slump-busting win," 9 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Atlanta tied it at 87 on an Omari Spellman putback dunk with 6:10 remaining in the game. Scott Horner, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana Pacers blow huge lead in NBA Summer League loss," 11 July 2018 Washington tied the score on an Ian Mahinmi dunk with 7:35 to play. Josh Robbins, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Magic win season finale over Wizards 101-92, hurt lottery odds," 12 Apr. 2018 Frazier anticipated a Utah Jazz player’s pass toward the sideline, and Frazier — using his quick first step and his 7-foot-1¾ wingspan — poked the ball forward, accelerated toward the hoop and threw down a right-handed windmill dunk. Josh Robbins, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Rookie Melvin Frazier Jr. showing defensive grit but unrefined offensive game," 14 July 2018 But Fultz is shown throwing down dunks and working on his handle in a different gym than Embiid later in the day. Ej Smith, Philly.com, "Video: Joel Embiid takes on Jayson Tatum and Mo Bamba, Markelle Fultz practices with Drew Hanlen," 11 July 2018 James threw down over a half-dozen tremendous dunks. Aja Gaines, Detroit Free Press, "LeBron James' top moments vs. Detroit Pistons, even THAT playoff game," 10 July 2018 Free to run the floor and throw down dunks, Bell quickly became a fan favorite. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Jordan Bell: How Warriors center handled up-and-down rookie season," 30 June 2018 Incoming Duke Blue Devil Zion Williamson spent his high school days wowing the basketball world and throwing down insane dunks. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "Indisputable proof that Duke recruit Zion Williamson can fly," 28 June 2018 Okobo, a lefty, knows how to find or create his own shot, can throw down dunks and is a solid passer. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Do the Bucks really need another point guard in the draft?," 15 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


1919, 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

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dunk

The first known use of dunk was in 1919

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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

: 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 \
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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Comments on dunk

What made you want to look up dunk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something that serves to warn or remind

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