Origin of plunk

First recorded in 1760–70; expressive word akin to pluck
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for plunk

plop, unload, drop, dump, plump, plonk

Examples from the Web for plunk

Contemporary Examples of plunk

Historical Examples of plunk

  • His counsel was quickly taken, and then there was a plunk as he sprang into the creek.

    The Riflemen of the Ohio

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • A blue-eyed feller with a mustache, but he gave me a plunk not to tell.

    On the Lightship

    Herman Knickerbocker Viel

  • “Let them,” said Pearl, sending the anchor with a plunk into the sea.

    Witches Cove

    Roy J. Snell

  • He could hear the soft plunk, plunk of her rubber heels on the marble steps.

    The City of Fire

    Grace Livingston Hill

  • And there's twenty thousand Boers plunk in the middle, ain't they?

    War's Brighter Side

    Julian Ralph.

British Dictionary definitions for plunk



to pluck (the strings) of (a banjo, harp, etc) or (of such an instrument) to give forth a sound when plucked
(often foll by down) to drop or be dropped, esp heavily or suddenly


the act or sound of plunking
informal a hard blow


an exclamation imitative of the sound of something plunking


informal exactly; squarelyplunk into his lap

Word Origin for plunk

C20: imitative
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 plunk

1805, "to pluck a stringed instrument;" 1808 in sense of "drop down abruptly;" 1888 as "to hit, wound, shoot." Probably of imitative origin in all cases. Related: Plunked; plunking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper