\ 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

According to Porter, the manager, a white woman identified as Erica Walker, approached and told her boyfriend to remove his socks when dunking them in the water or to leave. Paula Rogo, Essence.com, "Tennessee Woman Says She Was Racially Profiled At Apartment Pool On July 4," 8 July 2018 Prosecutors said the couple starved the nanny, beat her with an electrical cable, and tortured her by dunking her head under water. Jill Lawless, BostonGlobe.com, "London couple convicted of murdering nanny, burning her body," 24 May 2018 The dust-up was after Pascal Siakam blew past Love and dunked with no Cavs from here to Alberta in his way. Joe Vardon, cleveland.com, "Cavaliers messy at season's midpoint, lose 133-99 to Raptors," 12 Jan. 2018 The RedHawks got within 65-62 on Darrian Ringo’s layup with 13 seconds left, but Brandon Johnson dunked it on the other end. Associated Press, Detroit Free Press, "College hoops: Western Michigan rallies; CMU, EMU stumble," 6 Jan. 2018 Hamidou Diallo: The freshman's strengths - amazing athleticism, transcendent hops, dunking creativity - are well-known. Matthew Giles, chicagotribune.com, "Ranking the top 50 prospects in the 2018 NBA draft," 19 June 2018 Champions in the single-elimination NCAA tournament tend to be more flukish than in the best-of-7 NBA Finals, where the best team almost always wins and Cinderella’s carriage turns into a pumpkin dunked by Kevin Durant or LeBron James. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, "For Spurs, still no need to start over," 10 Mar. 2018 Harry-the-Hawk provided an aerial display, dunking basketballs using a mini-trampoline, providing playful engagement with attendees and giving away t-shirts. Pamela Miller, ajc, "Atlanta Hawks basketball court dedicated at Bill Badgett Stadium," 20 June 2018 Depending on their age and freshness, the vegetables can be served raw or they can be dunked in boiling water for a minute or two, which will leave them firm but diminish signs of crisper-drawer fatigue. Emily Horton, charlotteobserver, "Four steps to making a great grain salad, every time," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

His highlight was an alley-oop dunk on an out-of-bounds play. Keith Pompey, Philly.com, "Sixers' Zhaire Smith shows progress in second summer-league game," 8 July 2018 As the younger Walker hit high school and began to grow toward a frame that now reaches over 6-foot-4, his calling became evident with every slithery move or soaring dunk. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Spurs’ new draft pick not just all talk," 23 June 2018 Wade dropped a pass to James who then finished with a dunk, and Wade threw up in arms in celebration. Charlotte Carroll, SI.com, "Fan Gets Iconic Dwyane Wade-LeBron James Photo Turned Into Spectacular Tattoo," 14 June 2018 Curry’s shot routine has similarities to Kerr’s old routine, with one exception: Curry, barring injury or fatigue, always finishes his session with a dunk. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "Scott Ostler: For sharpshooter Curry, practice makes almost perfect," 2 June 2018 Embiid casually bounces a ball off a poor defender's face, collects the ball and then finishes with a windmill dunk. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "Joel Embiid bounces ball off guy's face, dunks during pickup game in Philly," 28 May 2018 Houston ended a scoring drought of more than two minutes with a dunk by Harden seconds later and the Warriors followed with another run, scoring six straight points to extend it to 85-72 with just more than two minutes left in the third. Kristie Riekin, chicagotribune.com, "Kevin Durant's 37 points lead Warriors over Rockets 119-106," 14 May 2018 That was the case with Giannis Antetokounmpo's dunk in the third quarter of a Feb. 6 game against the New York Knicks. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Giannis Antetokounmpo's dunk over Tim Hardaway Jr. voted as NBA's Dunk of the Year," 14 May 2018 Durant opened the second half with a running dunk off a steal by Andre Iguodala. Christopher Dabe, NOLA.com, "'It doesn't matter who you put on K.D.': Durant's 38 leads against Pelicans," 6 May 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

19 Sep 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).


the setting in which something occurs

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