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 Reclaimed, which airs at 9 p.m. EST, is based on the premise that treasure is hidden throughout America, not on some sunken shipwreck or cursed island, but on old mining claims just under the surface ready to be accessed. Alicia Kortendick, oregonlive, "Discovery Channel’s ‘Reclaimed’ | How to watch, TV channel, live stream," 10 Jan. 2020 The search for five crew members of a sunken fishing vessel in Alaska has been suspended, the U.S. Coast Guard said. USA TODAY, "Coast Guard suspends search for 5 missing crew members of Alaskan crab boat that sank," 2 Jan. 2020 Target and bait shallow areas with fish meal or pellets, then periodically net over the sunken bait. Bob Mcnally, Field & Stream, "The Ultimate Guide to Catching and Keeping Saltwater Live Bait," 2 Jan. 2020 In low-fertility lakes, look to long, rocky points with some sort of secondary cover, like a sunken tree, a fish crib, or several larger boulders to concentrate forage and pike. Outdoor Life, "5 Hottest Bites For First Ice," 20 Nov. 2019 Divers recovered a man’s body from the sunken vessel, the statement said., "Two dead, 1 injured in boat crash on Lake Winnipesaukee - The Boston Globe," 11 Nov. 2019 On the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death, the sunken garden at Kensington Palace was transformed into a memorial garden for the late royal. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "How Meghan Markle Paid a Sweet Tribute to Princess Diana on Instagram," 13 May 2019 Only the remains of USS Arizona survivors can be interred on the sunken battleship. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "One of the last survivors of the USS Arizona will be interred on the sunken warship," 7 Dec. 2019 In a separate project, the deepest sunken shipwreck ever discovered was recently found in the Philippine Sea. Fox News, "World War I battlecruiser wreck discovered near the Falkland Islands," 6 Dec. 2019

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

23 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sunken.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sunken


How to pronounce sunken (audio)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on sunken

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sunken

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sunken

Spanish Central: Translation of sunken

Nglish: Translation of sunken for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sunken for Arabic Speakers

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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