\ 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

White threw an alley-oop pass that second-round pick Daniel Gafford dunked for the Bulls’ first basket and then swished a 19-foot jumper on his first attempt. K.c. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Draft picks Coby White (17 points) and Daniel Gafford (21) lead the Bulls past the Lakers in their summer league opener," 5 July 2019 The policeman had thrashed him with a metal pipe, dunked his head in a drum of water and then, after the man had died, claimed he had been beaten by another prisoner, who was initially charged with the murder. The Economist, "Learn the law, hope for freedom," 4 July 2019 The 780-square-foot building features a cramped, 250-square-foot food prep area where hot dogs are steamed and assembled, french fries are dunked in hot oil and Chicago-style Italian beef sandwiches are sliced. Michael Mayo, sun-sentinel.com, "Hot dog! 100 years of wieners at Hot Dog Heaven in Fort Lauderdale and Arbetter’s in Miami," 2 July 2019 The morning program will be from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Katy Heritage Park and Fire Station #1 to enjoy activities including bounce houses, public safety demos, dunking booth, petting zoo, trackless train, snow cones and more. Houston Chronicle, "TR Katy Rancher calendar 0703," 1 July 2019 In 1988, Michael Jordan out-dunking Dominique Wilkins was a great moment. Bill Livingston, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Cavaliers: dunking Nances about more than just slamming and jamming - Bill Livingston (photos)," 22 Feb. 2018 The morning program will be from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Katy Heritage Park and Fire Station #1 to enjoy activities including bounce houses, public safety demos, dunking booth, petting zoo, trackless train, snow cones and more. Houston Chronicle, "Katy-area calendar of events," 23 June 2019 Watson may have collected another Travelers title in 2013 if not for dunking his tee shot into the water hazard at the par-3 16th hole on Sunday. Chris Brodeur, courant.com, "Is TPC River Highlands a cushy landing spot for PGA pros after the grind of a U.S. Open? It’s not that simple," 18 June 2019 But while the luxurious image of that indoor pool somehow imprinted in my brain, the ability to float, or cannonball, or even dunk my head underwater did not. Leah Prinzivalli, SELF, "I Wanted to Learn to Swim Before I Turned 30. Easier Said Than Done.," 15 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The roof is coming off the Oracle as the Warriors take a 3-point lead, 97-94, on a huge dunk from Shaun Livingston. Marc Stein, New York Times, "How the Raptors Won Their First N.B.A. Championship," 13 June 2019 Late in the third quarter of Game 6 against the Toronto Raptors, Thompson got fouled by Danny Green on a dunk off a pass from Steph Curry. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al.com, "NBA Finals: Watch injured Klay Thompson make inspirational return to hit FTs before being ruled out," 13 June 2019 The Wizards kept chipping away and finally took a 116-114 lead on Beal’s dunk off a Jazz turnover. John Coon, The Seattle Times, "Mitchell powers Jazz to 128-124 win over Wizards," 29 Mar. 2019 Also in the second quarter, Green was blocked on a dunk by Clint Capela. Jenna West, SI.com, "Twitter Went Wild Over Rockets-Warriors Game 5," 24 May 2018 Mbah a Moute, who dislocated his right shoulder on a dunk in Los Angeles on the second-to-last game of the season, has had pain in the shoulder throughout his seven games since coming back. Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle, "Rockets stick with struggling Mbah a Moute as he comes back from shoulder injury," 20 May 2018 Davis twice came up with key plays when the Blazers got within two points, first making a 3-pointer from the top of the key and then scoring on a put-back dunk with about 3 minutes left. Christopher Dabe, NOLA.com, "'He just was not going to let us lose': Anthony Davis sets scoring record vs. Blazers," 21 Apr. 2018 DiVincenzo added a bucket on a flying dunk from a Brunson pass and blocked a shot, one of his two on the night, and had become the game’s breakthrough player. Blair Kerkhoff, kansascity, "'Big Ragu' carries Villanova past Michigan for national title | The Kansas City Star," 2 Apr. 2018 Brunson tied a career-high with 31 points on an emphatic dunk that sent the Madison Square Garden crowd into a frenzy. Dan Gelston, chicagotribune.com, "Villanova tops Providence for 2nd straight Big East title," 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


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

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dunk

The first known use of dunk was in 1926

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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

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