sunk·​en | \ ˈsəŋ-kən How to pronounce sunken (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Industry leaders are finding themselves in a tricky situation where investor demands for growth contradict the realities of a sunken experience economy. New York Times, "Entrepreneurs Bet Big on Immersive Art Despite Covid-19," 10 Jan. 2021 The ranch-style house, built in 1976 on a 7,405-square-foot lot, has laminate hardwood floors, a sunken living room with a fireplace, three bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,120 square feet of living space. oregonlive, "On the market: Portland homes for sale with the top 10 trends for 2021," 21 Dec. 2020 Last winter, the owners' insurance paid for a remote operating vehicle to take video images, which have not been made public, of the sunken vessel. Hal Bernton, Anchorage Daily News, "Settlement in deadly sinking of crab boat off Alaska calls for more than $9 million payout," 2 Nov. 2020 The sunken living room features a ring of clerestory windows and a floating fireplace hanging from the ceiling. Los Angeles Times, "Hot Property newsletter: Real estate deals that just made it under the wire," 26 Dec. 2020 His sunken yet sharp eyes, discerning gaze and knowing smile, along with the fishing logos on his hat and vest, give away his mastery of the region’s 700 miles of waterways. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, "Delta dilemma: fishing or fresh water?," 10 Dec. 2020 Some were trapped in watertight compartments in the sunken and capsized ship and died two weeks later. Carrie Napoleon,, "‘Remember Pearl Harbor’ resonates with veterans, citizens 79 years later at Highland event," 7 Dec. 2020 The sunken ships represent vessels as varied as an 1844 wooden sidewheel steamer to a 20th-century German freighter. Tara Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "America’s Marine Sanctuaries," 25 Nov. 2020 One of the main highlights inside is the sunken living room, which features a ring of clerestory windows and a floating fireplace hanging from the ceiling in the center. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, "Palm Springs’ House of Tomorrow, an Elvis Presley hideaway, sells for $2.6 million," 17 Dec. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sunken

Time Traveler for sunken

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for sunken

Last Updated

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sunken.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce sunken (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!