\ 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

Williamson had 15 points in the first half, but had not dunked on the tall Fall — mainly because UCF’s center played just eight minutes due to foul trouble. Pete Iacobelli, The Seattle Times, "Williamson, Duke survive UCF’s late misses, reach Sweet 16," 25 Mar. 2019 Chrissy Teigen will not log off and will not stop dunking on her husband. Casey Newton, The Verge, "22 predictions for social media in 2019," 15 Dec. 2018 The six-time Pro Bowler drove by one defender and dunked on the guy who was there to help. Alysha Tsuji, For The Win, "44-year-old Terrell Owens threw down poster dunk in high school alumni game," 30 June 2018 Meanwhile, Joel Embiid has been welcoming newbies to the league by… dunking on them. Aubrey Nagle, Philly.com, "Five dead in Annapolis shooting, Philly heat wave arrives as some 'hoods get hotter | Morning Newsletter," 29 June 2018 However, sometimes there’s no substitute for dunking your head under a stream of rushing water. Jaime Osnato, SELF, "How I Keep My Temporary Hair Color Fresh to Death," 4 Apr. 2019 With dramatic music playing, he is shown dunking his head into a plastic container full of blue, sudsy liquid. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "Why this U.S. House candidate in Colorado got pepper sprayed in the face on purpose," 13 June 2018 Then, on the first possession of the game, Williamson caught a lob and dunked it, nearly jumping over one of Thompson’s players in the process. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "There Has Never Been a Basketball Player Like Duke’s Zion Williamson," 5 Nov. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In any given arcade, about 75% of total points came from dunks, layups and 3-pointers, the most valuable shots in basketball. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The NBA and NFL Have Become Videogames," 6 Nov. 2018 And Stephenson was so fired up after a huge dunk - for two of his 12 points in the game - that he head-butted the goal's padded stanchion. Dave Clark, Cincinnati.com, "Report: LeBron convinced Stephenson to turn down better offer from Pacers to join Lakers," 9 July 2018 John Henson capped a 10-0 run with a dunk off a feed from Eric Bledsoe to put Milwaukee ahead, 80-77, with 3 minutes 57 seconds left in the period. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Magic 126, Bucks 117: Orlando deals Milwaukee an embarrassing loss," 14 Mar. 2018 His eyes light up when asked about the slam-dunk competition. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Position-less hoops could allow MSU's Miles Bridges to flourish in NBA," 11 July 2018 Though his tendentious tenure has been marked by Twitter rages, staff turnover and the dark cloud of the Russia investigation, the Supreme Court has offered a chance for slam-dunk political victories. Joel Achenbach, chicagotribune.com, "A look at the list helping Trump reshape the Supreme Court," 8 July 2018 Trump’s third nominee, Georgia Supreme Court Justice Britt Grant, was expected to be a slam-dunk confirmation in the full Senate. Bill Rankin, ajc, "Trump packs influential Atlanta court with conservative judges," 6 July 2018 In many cases, the frozen fish is less expensive and ought to be a slam-dunk. Bonnie S. Benwick, charlotteobserver, "What you should know about buying frozen fish," 3 July 2018 Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Monday lobbed a question at Attorney General Jeff Sessions that should have produced a slam-dunk answer. Callum Borchers, Washington Post, "Jeff Sessions explains how separating families is different from what Nazis did," 19 June 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

13 Jun 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

Comments on dunk

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behavior toward others

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