verb (used with or without object)

to hit hard, especially on the head.


a hard hit, especially on the head.
Informal. a stupid person; clunkhead.
Informal. clunker(def 2)

Origin of clunk

1790–1800; imitative; cf. clink1, clank Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for clunk

pound, stomp, plod, clomp, thump, thud, clop, tromp, clonk

Examples from the Web for clunk

Contemporary Examples of clunk

  • Embellishments were large and cumbersome—so much so that the dresses seemed to clink and clunk as the models walked the runway.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Milan’s Day-Glo Exuberance

    Robin Givhan

    September 26, 2011

Historical Examples of clunk

British Dictionary definitions for clunk



a blow or the sound of a blow
a dull metallic sound
a dull or stupid person
mainly Scot
  1. the gurgling sound of a liquid
  2. the sound of a cork being removed from a bottle


to make or cause to make such a sound

Word Origin for clunk

C19: of imitative 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 clunk

1796, "to make the sound of a cork being pulled from a bottle;" imitative. This was the main sense through most of 19c. Meaning "to hit, strike" is attested from 1940s. Related: Clunked; clunking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper