sink

verb
\ ˈsiŋk How to pronounce sink (audio) \
sank\ ˈsaŋk How to pronounce sank (audio) \ or sunk\ ˈsəŋk How to pronounce sunk (audio) \; 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
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 How to pronounce sinkable (audio) \ 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 Ambush predators like bass can reliably be found around structures under the water, often where people have sunk old Christmas trees or other debris to boost their own fishing fortunes. Dennis Pillion | Dpillion@al.com, al, "Are Alabama fish safe to eat? Here’s how the state decides," 2 Dec. 2019 He was fouled by Draymond Green and sank both free-throw attempts. Roy Parry, orlandosentinel.com, "Magic rely on Evan Fournier, strong defensive effort during tight home win over Warriors," 1 Dec. 2019 White, a 6-foot-6 sophomore, blocked the second shot, drew a foul and sank both free throws with one second left to send UAA to its second loss of the season. Anchorage Daily News, "Clutch plays in final minute carry Michigan Tech past UAA men’s basketball team," 30 Nov. 2019 Entering the Paradise Jam, the Ducks lead the nation in assists per game (26.8) while sinking the fourth-most three pointers (11.5). David J. Kim, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville women's basketball faces No. 1 Oregon in the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands," 30 Nov. 2019 In Asian trading Friday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index lost 0.5% to 23,293.91, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong sank 2.0% to 26,335.06. BostonGlobe.com, "World shares post modest losses in ‘Black Friday’ retreat - The Boston Globe," 29 Nov. 2019 Other historic vessels sunk with the Applet include the Kronan and Scepter. Fox News, "17th-century warship wrecks discovered off Swedish island," 28 Nov. 2019 Shakir stressed that victories on March 3 potentially buoy a previously sinking campaign. Nicole Sganga, CBS News, "Bernie Sanders looks beyond contests in Iowa and New Hampshire," 28 Nov. 2019 Thunder guard Chris Paul drained a 19-footer before Gilgeous-Alexander sank two free throws to give Oklahoma City a three-point lead with 22.4 seconds remaining. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors squander inspired performance in loss to Thunder," 25 Nov. 2019

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

Time Traveler for sink

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for sink

Last Updated

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Sink.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sink%20one's%20teeth%20into. Accessed 9 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sink

sink

verb
How to pronounce sink (audio)

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 How to pronounce sink (audio) \
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sink

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

contradictory or incongruous words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!