\ 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 These tales tend to feature a cavalier coach whose go-to technique was a heartless shove, or a slightly older or bigger child with a yen for dunking the new kid in the pool. Mary Pols, New York Times, "Eat. Sleep. Swim. Repeat.," 14 Apr. 2020 Davis felt soreness in his right shoulder after dunking awkwardly against Charlotte on Oct. 27. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "Despite injury scare, Lakers' Anthony Davis has proven he can stay durable," 22 Feb. 2020 That is, reserve forward Ira Lee picked up a technical foul – and a temporary benching from Miller – after staring down Utah’s Mikael Jantunen after dunking midway through the second half. Bruce Pascoe, azcentral, "Arizona basketball revived in home win over Utah," 16 Jan. 2020 Gavin Byers Height: 6-5 Weight: 290 About Byers: Before the season started, Byers showed off his elite athleticism by dunking on the basketball court. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, "SportsDayHS 2019 all-area football teams: See full first- and second-teams for defense, offense," 9 Jan. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Emoni Bates dunks, swishes a go-ahead 3-pointer then knocks down a tough jumper to lead Ypsilanti Lincoln past Detroit Edison on Jan. 20, 2020. Detroit Free Press, "Meet the Detroit Free Press 2019-20 boys basketball All-State, Dream Team," 17 May 2020 The Wildcats allowed open 3s to start the game and gave up some dunks, too, but played significantly better in the second half. Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, "Defense wins (SEC) championships: Kentucky thrives on stopping Auburn in Saturday's win," 1 Mar. 2020 His size, statistics, strength, dunks, quickness, agility, explosiveness, smile. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Opinion: NBA rookie Zion Williamson is matching — perhaps surpassing — his massive hype," 27 Feb. 2020 There, with every explosive dunk, every soaring block on the defensive end, every slick spin and quick jab step, the legend grew. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, "Zion Williamson Is More Than a Walking Mixtape," 22 Feb. 2020 The 6-foot-9-inch Jean-Baptiste finished the game five dunks, highlighted by a transition two-handed slam in the open court. Nate Weitzer, BostonGlobe.com, "Shawn Brothers comes through in clutch for Newton North boys’ basketball vs. Attleboro," 16 Feb. 2020 Nuggets coach Michael Malone referred to the scrambling, doubling defense against the Beard, who got dumped on his rump as Denver’s Torrey Craig slammed a spin-o-rama dunk in the fourth quarter, as the Harden Rules. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Kiszla: These aren’t your grandfather’s run-and-fun Nuggets. Can Denver win NBA championship with defense?," 21 Nov. 2019 Trubisky — sorry, Nagy — should be able to dink-and-dunk his way up and down the field against them, especially with more traditional play calls. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, "Week 2 NFL betting guide: Picks against the spread for every game, best totals, and more," 13 Sep. 2019 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

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

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dunk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dunk. Accessed 31 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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