\ 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Sure, Blake Griffin's arrival offered a spark a couple of weeks ago, but he's dunked exactly once in seven games and his new team had lost three in a row entering Wednesday night's game against Atlanta. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "No expectation for Detroit Tigers? It might make them easier to watch," 15 Feb. 2018 The movie tackles relationships and race but allows for serious fun, as in the iconic scene in which Harrelson tries to dunk. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "March madness: The 20 best basketball films, definitively ranked (including Ben Affleck's 'The Way Back')," 9 Mar. 2020 Get them out now before the Nuggets power forward dunks on your punchline. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "Grandpa Paul? Why Nuggets’ Millsap feels rejuvenated in 14th NBA season," 24 Nov. 2019 Gobert dunked on the play and Okogie stayed down for several moments before getting up. Andres Ybarra, The Seattle Times, "Mitchell scores 29 to lead Jazz past Timberwolves 125-111," 27 Jan. 2019 Westbrook tried to dunk on Baynes while the guy was on the ground tying his shoe. Alysha Tsuji, For The Win, "Russell Westbrook almost dunked on defender who was tying his shoe," 20 Mar. 2018 Now, a break from the news Cook: Green goddess dressing, perfect for dunking veggies, uses almost any soft herbs or greens, puréed with something creamy, something garlicky or oniony, and a few anchovies. Chris Stanford, New York Times, "‘Glimmers of hope’ amid a rising toll," 9 Apr. 2020 During your soak, take deep, rhythmic breaths to quiet a racing mind or simply dunk your head underwater, says Hanekamp. New York Times, "How to Run a Bath That Feels Like a Spa Treatment," 20 Mar. 2020 Dent, one of the offensive line coaches at the school, can still picture Becton dunking the ball with ease just three or four years ago. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, "Mekhi Becton went from a top-60 prospect to a top-10 lock in mock drafts. What changed?," 20 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Jordan's soaring highlight tapes of his reverse layups and baseline dunks are made more powerful by the storytelling behind the clips and modern day interviews. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "Day 53 without sports: Gaining appreciation for MJ, the 1990s through lens of 'The Last Dance'," 3 May 2020 Jordan captured attention with a career that included more than 32,000 points, a mesmerizing array of dunks and a silky smooth mid-range jumper. Rob Tate, Houston Chronicle, "Local coaches share Michael Jordan memories ahead of ‘The Last Dance’," 18 Apr. 2020 Routines are usually a minute and a half full of individual dunks, two teammates dunking together and the whole team passing to each other and dunking, Citro said. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "While the NBA season is on hold, this Bucks' Rim Rocker continues shooting trick shots — from his Oak Creek home," 17 Apr. 2020 Can Wiseman really be ranked that high after playing just three games filled with a majority of dunks and layups? Chris Fedor, cleveland, "NBA Draft 2020 drawing comparisons to 2013, when Cleveland Cavaliers used top pick on Anthony Bennett," 17 Apr. 2020 Then, in the second half, the Bruins began to sow the seeds of their 19th consecutive victory, with Bailey crashing the offensive glass and pounding down dunks and Williamson struggling to even hit the rim. Tim Kawakami, Los Angeles Times, "Looking back at UCLA’s victory over Arkansas for 1995 NCAA title," 6 Apr. 2020 Down 56-43 seven minutes into the second half, Williams was integral in starting a 17-2 run to take the lead with a steal and dunk and 3-pointer on back-to-back possession. Fletcher Page, Cincinnati.com, "Led by Trevon Scott and Keith Williams, Cincinnati basketball saved its season at USF," 4 Mar. 2020 Six of those eight field goals came in the restricted area on a mix of dunks and alley-oops. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "In Warriors’ latest loss, Marquese Chriss shows why he could be answer at center," 25 Feb. 2020 Forgive Brock Cunningham for hanging from the rim for an extra half second following a steal and dunk. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "Courtney Ramey erupts for career-high 26 as Texas downs Kansas State," 22 Feb. 2020

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

15 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dunk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dunk. Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for dunk


How to pronounce dunk (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dunk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dunk

Spanish Central: Translation of dunk

Nglish: Translation of dunk for Spanish Speakers

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