sink

1 of 2

verb

sank ˈsaŋk How to pronounce sink (audio) or sunk ˈsəŋk How to pronounce sink (audio) ; sunk; sinking

intransitive verb

1
a
: to go to the bottom : submerge
b
: to become partly buried (as in mud)
c
: to become engulfed
2
a(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
3
a
: 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
5
a
: to go downward in quality, state, or condition
b
: to grow less in amount or worth
6
a
: to fall or drop slowly for lack of strength
b
: to become depressed
c
: to fail in health or strength
broadly : fail

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
3
a
: 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
6
a
: 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 neighborRichard Harrison
8
: to pay off (something, such as a debt) : liquidate
9
10
: drop sense 7c
sink a putt
sink a jump shot
11
chiefly British : to drink down completely
sinkable adjective

sink

2 of 2

noun

plural sinks
1
a
: 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
3
4
a
: a depression in the land surface
especially : one having a saline lake with no outlet
b
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
The oceans are a major sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2).Andrew J. Watson et al.
see also carbon sink
Phrases
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

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 sink that was his birthplace See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
As the reservoir filled, an unknown number of plants and animals were killed, and countless cultural, sacred, historical, and recreational resources were sunk. Cassidy Randall, Rolling Stone, 18 Feb. 2024 Apple stock is down 2%, but the big loser of the bunch continues to be Tesla, whose shares have sunk by more than a fifth since the end of 2023. Morgan Haefner, Quartz, 16 Feb. 2024 The man and woman in their late 40s climbed out of the frigid water as the rental sank into the pond on Tuesday, Feb. 13, Teton County Search and Rescue said on Facebook. Brooke Baitinger, Idaho Statesman, 15 Feb. 2024 As the Maryland General Assembly moves through its annual legislative session, there is still no plan to fund the Blueprint in the long term, which would inevitably sink Maryland into a financial death spiral. Steve Hershey, Baltimore Sun, 15 Feb. 2024 The business posted a minimal revenue increase of just 1% to $9.9 billion, with advertising revenue also sinking by as much as 50% in some areas of the business. Eleanor Pringle, Fortune, 15 Feb. 2024 The Arlington was sinking, and its chief engineer had sounded the alarm. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 14 Feb. 2024 Mayorkas narrowly survived last week's vote after a small group of Republicans, who said President Biden's border chief did not commit impeachable offenses for his handling of the U.S.-Mexico border crisis, voted with all Democrats to sink it. Caitlin Yilek, CBS News, 13 Feb. 2024 It’s also sunk deep into the ground as the venue sits right in the middle of the flight path to LAX, which is about three miles to the west. Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 6 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sink.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near sink

Cite this Entry

“Sink.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sink. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

sink

1 of 2 verb
sank ˈsaŋk How to pronounce sink (audio) or sunk ˈsəŋk How to pronounce sink (audio) ; sunk; sinking
1
a
: to move or cause to move downward usually so as to be below the surface or swallowed up
feet sinking into deep mud
sink a ship
b
: to descend gradually lower and lower
the sun sank behind the hills
2
: to lessen in amount or strength
3
: to fall to or into a lower status (as of quality, worth, or number) : decline
sink into decay
4
a
: to penetrate or cause to penetrate
sank my ax into the tree
b
: to become absorbed
the water sank into the dry ground
5
: to form by digging or boring
sink a well
6
: invest entry 2 sense 1
sank a million dollars in the new company
7
: to fail in strength, spirits, or health
my heart sank
sinkable adjective

sink

2 of 2 noun
1
2
: a stationary basin for washing (as in a kitchen) connected with a drain and usually a water supply

More from Merriam-Webster on sink

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