sink

verb
\ ˈsiŋk \
sank\ ˈsaŋk \ or sunk\ ˈsəŋk \; sunk; sinking

Definition of sink

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to go to the bottom : submerge
b : to become partly buried (as in mud)
c : to become engulfed
2a(1) : to fall or drop to a lower place or level
(2) : to flow at a lower depth or level
(3) : to burn with lower intensity
(4) : to fall to a lower pitch or volume his voice sank to a whisper
b : to subside gradually : settle
c : to disappear from view
d : to slope gradually : dip
3a : to soak or become absorbed : penetrate
b : to become impressively known or felt the lesson had sunk in
4 : to become deeply absorbed sank into reverie
5a : to go downward in quality, state, or condition
b : to grow less in amount or worth
6a : to fall or drop slowly for lack of strength
b : to become depressed
c : to fail in health or strength broadly : fail

transitive verb

1a : to cause to sink sink a battleship
b : to force down especially below the earth's surface
c : to cause (something) to penetrate
2 : immerse, absorb he sank himself into his studies
3a : to dig or bore (a well or shaft) in the earth : excavate
b : to form by cutting or excising sink words in stone
4 : to cast down or bring to a low condition or state : overwhelm, defeat
5 : to lower in standing or reputation : abase
6a : to lessen in value or amount
b : to lower or soften (the voice) in speaking
7 : restrain, suppress sinks her pride and approaches the despised neighbor— Richard Harrison
8 : to pay off (something, such as a debt) : liquidate
10 : drop sense 7c sink a putt sink a jump shot
11 chiefly British : to drink down completely
sink one's teeth into
1 : to bite into
2 : to eagerly devote one's attention to likes to sink her teeth into a good book

sink

noun

Definition of sink (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a pool or pit for the deposit of waste or sewage : cesspool
b : a ditch or tunnel for carrying off sewage : sewer
c : a stationary basin connected with a drain and usually a water supply for washing and drainage
2 : a place where vice, corruption, or evil collects
4a : a depression in the land surface especially : one having a saline lake with no outlet
b : sinkhole
5 : a body or process that acts as a storage device or disposal mechanism: such as
a : heat sink broadly : a device that collects or dissipates energy (such as radiation)
b : a reactant with or absorber of a substance forests are a sink for carbon dioxide

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from sink

Verb

sinkable \ ˈsiŋ-​kə-​bəl \ adjective

Examples of sink in a Sentence

Verb

The passengers were rescued from the boat before it sank. The rock sank to the bottom of the pool. My foot sank into the deep mud. She sank up to her knees in the snow. The torpedo sank the ship. The sun sank behind the hills. She sank back into the cozy chair. The temperature sinks quickly after the sun sets. The lake's water level is slowly sinking. His strength is slowly sinking.

Noun

was able to rise above the inner-city sink that was his birthplace
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Cole nearly sank as a result of the explosion, but the U.S. Navy destroyer was brought back to the U.S. where it was repaired and still serves to this day. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Militant Killed in U.S. Airstrike Was Wanted for USS Cole Bombing," 4 Jan. 2019 By the time a winner was actually announced last month, reality had sunk in. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Amazon," 27 Dec. 2018 The Dow Jones industrial average sank nearly 800 points, or 3.1 percent. Matt Phillips, The Seattle Times, "Stocks slide as bond market sounds a recession warning," 4 Dec. 2018 Across from the sofa, a kitchen features an indoor-outdoor fridge, two-burner gas stove, sink, microwave, and extendable counter. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Compact camper van fits a bathroom, sleeps two," 27 Nov. 2018 In the past two decades, the US has sunk from 52nd in the world for women’s representation to 104th today, according to data compiled by the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Li Zhou, Vox, "It’s official: a record-breaking number of women have won seats in Congress," 7 Nov. 2018 The wooden steam barge sank during an 1899 nor’easter. Fox News, "Mysterious shipwreck reveals its secrets: Wreck may be Lake Erie’s oldest," 15 Oct. 2018 Nikita Sursin Ah, the early 2000s—the era of boy bands, Myspace, mirror selfies, and hair that was colored in your basement sink with a bottle of bleach and peroxide, à la Christina Aguilera and Beyoncé. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "How to Go Platinum Blonde Without Destroying Your Hair," 24 Aug. 2018 Since the century’s start, labor’s share of the nation’s income has sunk to the lowest levels in decades. Patricia Cohen, BostonGlobe.com, "Paychecks lag as profits soar, and prices erode wage gains," 14 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sink.' 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 sink

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for sink

Verb

Middle English, from Old English sincan; akin to Old High German sinkan to sink

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sink

Dictionary Entries near sink

sinistrorse

sinistrous

Sinitic

sink

sinkage

sinkapace

sinkbox

Statistics for sink

Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sink

The first known use of sink was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sink

sink

verb

English Language Learners Definition of sink

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to go down below the surface of water, mud, etc.

: to cause (a ship or boat) to go down below the surface of water

: to move down to a lower position

sink

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sink (Entry 2 of 2)

: a wide bowl that has a faucet for water and a drain at the bottom and is usually positioned in a counter or on a pedestal

sink

verb
\ ˈsiŋk \
sank\ ˈsaŋk \ or sunk\ ˈsəŋk \; sunk; sinking

Kids Definition of sink

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to move or cause to move downward so as to be swallowed up The ship sank.
2 : to fall or drop to a lower level They both sank gratefully to the floor.— Jane Yolen, The Devil's Arithmetic
3 : to penetrate or cause to penetrate He sank an ax into the tree.
4 : to go into or become absorbed Water sank into the ground.
5 : to become known or felt She had to let the news sink in.
6 : to lessen in amount The temperature sank.
7 : to form by digging or boring We'll sink a well for water.
8 : to spend (money) unwisely
9 : to descend into a feeling of sadness or dread When I realized I had not won, my heart sank.

sink

noun

Kids Definition of sink (Entry 2 of 2)

: a wide bowl or basin attached to a wall or floor and having water faucets and a drain

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on sink

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sink

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sink

Spanish Central: Translation of sink

Nglish: Translation of sink for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sink for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sink

Comments on sink

What made you want to look up sink? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

someone who never drinks alcohol

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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