1

sink

verb \ ˈsiŋk \
Updated on: 21 Nov 2017

Definition of sink

sank play \ˈsaŋk\ or sunk play \ˈsəŋk\; 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 neighbor
  • —Richard Harrison
8 : to pay off (something, such as a debt) : liquidate
9 : 2invest 1
10 : drop 7c
  • sink a putt
  • sink a jump shot
11 chiefly British : to drink down completely

sinkable

play \ˈsiŋ-kə-bəl\ adjective
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

  1. The passengers were rescued from the boat before it sank.

  2. The rock sank to the bottom of the pool.

  3. My foot sank into the deep mud.

  4. She sank up to her knees in the snow.

  5. The torpedo sank the ship.

  6. The sun sank behind the hills.

  7. She sank back into the cozy chair.

  8. The temperature sinks quickly after the sun sets.

  9. The lake's water level is slowly sinking.

  10. His strength is slowly sinking.

Recent Examples of sink from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of sink

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


2

sink

noun

Definition of sink

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 : sump 3
4 a : 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

Examples of sink in a Sentence

  1. was able to rise above the inner-city sink that was his birthplace

Recent Examples of sink from the Web

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.

First Known Use of sink

15th century

sink Synonyms

Other Civil Engineering Terms


SINK Defined for English Language Learners

sink

verb

Definition of sink for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of sink for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

sink

verb \ ˈsiŋk \

Definition of sink for Students

sank \ˈsaŋk\ or sunk \ˈsəŋk\; sunk; sinking
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.

2

sink

noun

Definition of sink for Students

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


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