a member of the Church of the Brethren, a denomination of Christians founded in Germany in 1708 and later reorganized in the U.S., characterized by the practice of trine immersion, the celebration of a love feast accompanying the Lord's Supper, and opposition to the taking of oaths and to military service.

Also Dun·kard [duhng-kerd] /ˈdʌŋ kərd/, Tunker.

Origin of Dunker

1705–15, Americanism; < Pennsylvania German; see dunk, -er1



verb (used with object)

to dip (a doughnut, cake, etc.) into coffee, milk, or the like, before eating.
to submerge in a liquid: She dunked the curtains in the dye.
Basketball. to attempt to thrust (a ball) through the basket using a dunk shot.

verb (used without object)

to dip or submerge something, oneself, etc., in a liquid: She thinks it's vulgar to dunk. Let's dunk in the pool before dinner.
Basketball. to execute or attempt a dunk shot.


any flavorful sauce, dip, gravy, etc., into which portions of food are dipped before eating.
Basketball. dunk shot.

Origin of dunk

1865–70, Americanism; < Pennsylvania German dunke to dip, immerse; compare German tunken, Middle High German dunken, tunken, Old High German thunkōn, dunkōn
Related formsdunk·a·ble, adjective, noundunk·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for dunkers

bun, pastry, Danish, cruller, sinker

Examples from the Web for dunkers

Contemporary Examples of dunkers

Historical Examples of dunkers

  • Pennsylvania fellow told me over there Dunkers are sort of Dutch Baptists.

    The Debatable Land

    Arthur Colton

  • Dunkers caught a bit of the box peeping from under the coat.

  • "I'm sorry, Steve; but yuh wouldn't let me look at it," said Dunkers, contritely.

  • You know father's folks was Dunkers, an' he don't believe in cards.

    The Graysons

    Edward Eggleston

  • The name Hargreave had instantly brought back to Dunkers' mind the newspaper stories he had recently read.

British Dictionary definitions for dunkers



to dip (bread, etc) in tea, soup, etc, before eating
to submerge or be submerged in liquid
Derived Formsdunker, noun

Word Origin for dunk

C20: from Pennsylvania Dutch, from Middle High German dunken, from Old High German dunkōn; see duck ², tinge


Dunkard (ˈdʌŋkəd)


a member of the German Baptist Brethren

Word Origin for Dunker

C18: from German Tunker ducker
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 dunkers



1919, American English, from Pennsylvania German dunke "to dip," from Middle High German dunken, from Old High German dunkon, thunkon "to soak," from PIE root *teng- "to soak" (see tincture).

Basketball sense is first recorded 1937 as a verb, 1971 as a noun (earlier dunk shot). German-American Anabaptist sect of Dunkers (who baptize with triple immersion) first recorded by that name 1756.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper