\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for dunk

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb DeMarcus Cousins had nine of his 11 points in the second, hitting a 3-pointer and getting a steal and dunk as part of an 8-0 spurt. Beth Harris, ajc, "Clippers rout Lakers 118-94, move into No. 3 spot in West," 7 May 2021 A few weeks after video of the Edwards dunk against Watanabe went viral, a Japanese reporter asked Watanabe about the play. New York Times, "A Humbling N.B.A. Moment Brings Cheers From Japan," 6 May 2021 Bridges finished with 18 points with two coming on a two-handed lob dunk off Paul pass. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, "Phoenix Suns: Look back at romp over Jazz, ahead to matchup at Oklahoma City," 1 May 2021 As such, the traditional fast break — which in the dark ages led to an easy layup or dunk worth only two points — has started to become an anachronism. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "For Spurs and Jakob Poeltl, fast breaks not always a slam dunk," 22 Apr. 2021 The only trick is to dunk them into an ice water bath as soon as they're done. Beth Dooley Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Jammy eggs are an ideal mealtime solution," 21 Apr. 2021 Victor Oladipo, who was acquired in a trade-deadline deal with the Rockets, limped to the locker room midway through the fourth quarter after a poster dunk over Andre Drummond. Larry Starks, USA TODAY, "Utah Jazz hoping their home court is an advantage over Lakers, Nuggets," 9 Apr. 2021 The last bit of regulation was bonkers, with 6-9, 255-pound UCLA center Cody Riley heading for the rim to dunk it, and the 6-4, 205-pound Suggs heading to the rim to block it, and Suggs winning. Gregg Doyel, The Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: Jalen Suggs' shot into the heavens lifts Gonzaga past UCLA in Final Four classic," 4 Apr. 2021 Then the Blazers went on 14-0 run that included a Rodney Covington three, a deep three from Lillard, a steal and dunk from Powell, a Lillard drive and then an Enes Kanter score inside. oregonlive, "CJ McCollum’s late flurry helps Portland Trail Blazers hold on to 122-117 over the Toronto Raptors: Game rewind," 29 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But after back-to-back Anthony misses, the Hornets got an open dunk from P.J. Washington to push the lead to 12 that all but sealed the win. Steve Reed, Star Tribune, "Rozier, Hornets snap 4-game skid, beat Blazers 109-101," 18 Apr. 2021 Schroder had two assists, one on a Kyle Kuzma three-pointer and another on an alley-oop dunk by Drummond, to help the Lakers take an early lead in overtime. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, "Lakers beat Jazz in overtime battle of attrition," 17 Apr. 2021 An emphatic Green dunk met with a mix of cheers and jeers. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers become latest victim of Stephen Curry’s flurry in 119-101 loss to Golden State Warriors," 16 Apr. 2021 Conner's Cole Skiles gave the Cougars a brief advantage with back-to-back buckets in the paint, but Meyer flipped momentum toward the end of the quarter with a steal and an impressive dunk at the finish. Scott Springer, The Enquirer, "Kentucky high school basketball: Conner holds off Holy Cross to advance in 9th Region," 23 Mar. 2021 Orlando had a chance to cut it to 10 but Fournier missed an open 3 from the wing and a long rebound led to an easy dunk by Tatum, giving Boston a 100-85 lead. Roy Parry, orlandosentinel.com, "Magic overwhelmed by hot-shooting Celtics in 112-96 loss," 21 Mar. 2021 The Drake sophomore threw down an impressive dunk late in the first half, helping erase a frustrating shooting night in the first half. Mike Carmin, The Indianapolis Star, "Drake beats Wichita State in First Four of NCAA Tournament. Here's what to know about the win," 19 Mar. 2021 Instead, after the timeout, Argyle easily broke the press, capped off with an easy dunk by 6-foot-7 senior Nate Atwood. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, "‘That’s just what we do’: Argyle wins second 4A boys basketball state title, adds to school’s winning legacy," 13 Mar. 2021 The Bucks went up 117-111 on an Antetokounmpo dunk, but Westbrook continued to be a pebble in the shoe until the final moments. Jim Owczarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks 125, Wizards 119: Another triple-double for Giannis and a third straight win for Milwaukee," 13 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dunk

Statistics for dunk

Last Updated

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dunk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dunk. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on dunk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!