sunk·en | \ˈsəŋ-kən \

Definition of sunken 

1 : submerged especially : lying at the bottom of a body of water

2a : hollow, recessed sunken cheeks

b : lying in a depression a sunken garden

c : settled below the normal level

d : constructed below the normal floor level a sunken living room

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Examples of sunken in a Sentence

Her eyes were sunken and lifeless. our convalescing guest's sunken cheeks soon filled out on a diet of my mother's cooking

Recent Examples on the Web

That was my first time pulling a person out of a sunken car in a canal. Kimberly Rapanut, azcentral, "'The system worked': What led to rescue of woman from Mesa canal," 11 July 2018 While the official death toll is 44, the actual toll is 45 because the body of one of three people listed as missing is trapped under the sunken Phoenix. Fox News, "Thai police: Investigations into boat sinkings are advancing," 10 July 2018 Each level contains a sunken patio measuring around 12 meters on a side. Charles Stanish, Smithsonian, "How Feasting Rituals Help Shape Human Civilization," 5 July 2018 The National Park Service had hoped to reopen the site by the holiday, but it’s taken longer than anticipated to figure out how to repair the dock that allows visitors to board the memorial, which rests on pilings over the sunken battleship. Heidi Chang,, "USS Arizona Memorial, watery grave of Pearl Harbor sailors, remains closed as officials mull repairs," 3 July 2018 Sitting sunken-couch adjacent while sipping prosecco at The Wing in Soho, Moehlmann talked about her passion for plates, her surprisingly warm entry into the world of design, and, also, more plates. Nora Deligter, Vogue, "On the Registry: The Homeware Curator Who Hoped for Dior Wine Glasses," 28 June 2018 Some people think that the song is obviously a metaphor for a sunken relationship, but at the same time, a funeral actually happened. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Charlotte Day Wilson Will Put You In Your Feelings," 26 June 2018 Some of Greece’s most pristine beaches left blackened after a huge oil spill from a sunken tanker. Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle, "Roots rocker Millsap turns from end days to new ‘Arrangements’," 2 May 2018 As Trump turns the U.S. into the sunken place, there have been knee-jerk repeated calls for both Michelle Obama and Oprah to run for president in 2020. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Will Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski Save the Supreme Court?," 28 June 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sunken

Middle English sonkyn, past participle of sinken to sink

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Statistics for sunken

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Time Traveler for sunken

The first known use of sunken was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for sunken



English Language Learners Definition of sunken

: completely covered with water : lying at the bottom of a sea, lake, etc.

: curving inward because of illness, age, etc.

: lying or built at a lower level than the surrounding area


sunk·en | \ˈsəŋ-kən \

Kids Definition of sunken

1 : fallen in : hollow Zero's face looked like a jack-o'-lantern … with sunken eyes and a drooping smile.— Louis Sachar, Holes

2 : lying at the bottom of a body of water sunken ships

3 : built or settled below the surrounding or normal level a sunken garden

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Comments on sunken

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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