See more synonyms for bunker on Thesaurus.com
  1. a large bin or receptacle; a fixed chest or box: a coal bunker.
  2. a fortification set mostly below the surface of the ground with overhead protection provided by logs and earth or by concrete and fitted with openings through which guns may be fired.
  3. Golf. any obstacle, as a sand trap or mound of dirt, constituting a hazard.
verb (used with object)
  1. Nautical.
    1. to provide fuel for (a vessel).
    2. to convey (bulk cargo except grain) from a vessel to an adjacent storehouse.
  2. Golf. to hit (a ball) into a bunker.
  3. to equip with or as if with bunkers: to bunker an army's defenses.

Origin of bunker

1750–60; earlier bonkar (Scots) box, chest, serving also as a seat, of obscure origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for bunker

shelter, fortification, dugout, trap, blockhouse

Examples from the Web for bunker

Contemporary Examples of bunker

Historical Examples of bunker

British Dictionary definitions for bunker


  1. a large storage container or tank, as for coal
  2. Also called (esp US and Canadian): sand trap an obstacle on a golf course, usually a sand-filled hollow bordered by a ridge
  3. an underground shelter, often of reinforced concrete and with a bank and embrasures for guns above ground
  1. (tr) golf
    1. to drive (the ball) into a bunker
    2. (passive)to have one's ball trapped in a bunker
  2. (tr) nautical
    1. to fuel (a ship)
    2. to transfer (cargo) from a ship to a storehouse

Word Origin for bunker

C16 (in the sense: chest, box): from Scottish bonkar, of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bunker

1758, originally Scottish, "seat, bench," of uncertain origin, possibly a variant of banker "bench" (1670s; see bank (n.2)); possibly from a Scandinavian source (cf. Old Swedish bunke "boards used to protect the cargo of a ship"). Of golf courses, first recorded 1824, from extended sense "earthen seat" (1805); meaning "dug-out fortification" probably is from World War I.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper