\ 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

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

After dunking on and around one another, the two athletic lovebirds take a breath and chat. Mariah Smith, The Cut, "The Final Scene of This Episode of Terrace House Is a Great Piece of Television," 29 May 2018 Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks the ball against the Golden State Warriors. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "The NBA’s Big Greek Dunking Machine," 6 Dec. 2018 Phil Mickelson, wearing a button-down, long-sleeve dress shirt, dunked shots on the 16th and 17th and looked like a CEO who got beat up in the boardroom during his round of 79. Steve Dimeglio, USA TODAY, "Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler disappoint in Players Championship," 10 May 2018 Rudy Gobert, who had 11 points and 9 rebounds, dunked the ball after that, but a 3-pointer by Harden extended Houston’s lead to 92-77 with about eight and a half minutes left. The Associated Press, New York Times, "James Harden’s 41 Points Lead Rockets Over Jazz," 29 Apr. 2018 Months later, assembly begins when the shells are dunked in small containers filled with water and dashes of various food colorings. Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express-News, "Cascarón a symbol of ritual, renewal," 20 Apr. 2018 Or dunk a rice ball into dip duo ($2) of sweet chili paste and lime chili sauce. Lauren Delgado, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Restaurants add new options along Colonial Drive in Orlando," 11 Jan. 2018 Minnie dunked and hit a free throw in the final seconds. Associated Press, Detroit Free Press, "College hoops: Eastern Michigan takes down CMU; WMU falls," 9 Jan. 2018 Haidilao, which has grown fast, offers patrons ingredients such as goose intestines and pig brains to cook at their tables by dunking them in hot broth, typically a numbingly spicy soup from its home province of Sichuan. Joanne Chiu, WSJ, "Hot-Pot IPO: A Chinese Chain Serving Pig Brains and Giving Manicures," 10 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

An apparent long shot in deeply conservative Texas, O’Rourke gave Cruz a serious run for his money thanks to his activist bent, unconventional campaign, and debate dunks, earning him high-profile endorsements from the likes of Beyoncé along the way. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Beto O'Rourke Officially Announced His 2020 Presidential Campaign," 14 Mar. 2019 Here's one recipe from Mama Medicine: INGREDIENTS RITUAL Step into the bath and dunk your head under water. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "How to Create Your Own Full Moon Ritual, According to an Expert," 5 Mar. 2019 With the shot clock winding down, LeBron tossed the ball off the backboard from beyond the free-throw line and threw down the two-handed dunk just before the 24-second clock went off. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "LeBron James started Game 3 with an electrifying self alley-oop off the backboard," 6 June 2018 MVPoster Harden's not known for his high-flying ability, but his second-quarter slam over reigning Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green was one of the most electrifying dunks of these playoffs. 2. Aj Neuharth-keusch, USA TODAY, "Rockets even series with Warriors: Must-see moments from insane Game 4," 22 May 2018 As James goes for the dunk, Wade extends his arms out wide under the rim. Jordan Mcpherson, miamiherald, "Remember this famous pic from the 'Big 3' days? Here's what Wade wants to do with it | Miami Herald," 21 May 2018 Tatum had a dunk over James with 6:41 left -- and stared down the Cavaliers star and bumped him with his chest -- and then followed it with a 3-pointer that gave the Celtics a 72-71 lead. Fox News, "Lebron James scores 35 as Cavs advance to NBA Finals," 28 May 2018 One was a dunk that was spectacular, but not enough to camouflage his struggles. Bill Livingston, cleveland.com, "Is LeBron James nearing another end game with Cleveland Cavaliers? -- Bill Livingston (photos)," 21 Apr. 2018 Late in the fourth quarter Friday night, Jonathan Isaac stuck his left hand into a passing lane, intercepted a pass by Garrett Temple and sped forward for what should have been an easy fastbreak dunk. Josh Robbins, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Magic struggle without Fournier and Gordon, lose to Kings 94-88," 10 Mar. 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

21 Mar 2019

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
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dunk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dunk

Spanish Central: Translation of dunk

Nglish: Translation of dunk for Spanish Speakers

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).


an act or instance of returning to life

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