sink

verb
\ ˈsiŋk How to pronounce sink (audio) \
sank\ ˈsaŋk How to pronounce sink (audio) \ or sunk\ ˈsəŋk How to pronounce sink (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
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

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Other Words from sink

Verb

sinkable \ ˈsiŋ-​kə-​bəl How to pronounce sink (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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Instead of a 300-yard drive, the weekend golfer can try to keep it straight and sink a putt. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, "Mike Finger: As LeBron James ages, he makes a familiar discovery," 4 May 2021 Spurred by decades of financial mismanagement and Wall Street vulture funds, the island was entering what would be a devastating and financial crisis that’d sink the territory in $123 billions of debt. Frances Solá-santiago, refinery29.com, "What Logan Paul’s Move To Puerto Rico Means– Beyond the Tax Breaks," 3 May 2021 Quarterback flaws sink ships, often costing general managers and head coaches their jobs. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, "Justin Fields has star potential and already has changed the mood in Chicago. Can he alter the Bears’ wayward QB history?," 2 May 2021 It’s one thing to connect robots and manned ships and sink a barge in a test. David Axe, Forbes, "Robots Hunted A Mock Chinese Ship—Then a U.S. Navy Destroyer Lobbed A $5-Million Missile At It," 28 Apr. 2021 But bodies that sink in cold water — in the mid-40s that day — tend to stay down, with temperatures delaying the decomposition that eventually brings them up. Joanne Kimberlin, baltimoresun.com, "Body of Salisbury driver whose truck plunged off Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel 3 months ago found on Outer Banks," 9 Apr. 2021 The rise of China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy means the Navy must embark more missiles to sink ships in wartime. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Navy Is Getting Really Into Lasers," 9 Apr. 2021 Trust in coronavirus-vaccine information is already a problem, and could sink even lower. Hilda Bastian, The Atlantic, "The Differences Between the Vaccines Matter," 7 Mar. 2021 One insulting letter lights the fuse and then ships full of men sink, battalions rush into machine-gun fire and atomic bombs roast cities. WSJ, "The Cause of the Pacific War and Its Miseries," 22 Apr. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for sink

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for sink

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sink.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sink. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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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 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

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Comments on sink

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