[ singk ]
/ sɪŋk /

verb (used without object), sank or, often, sunk; sunk or sunk·en; sink·ing.

verb (used with object), sank or, often, sunk; sunk or sunk·en; sink·ing.


Nearby words

  1. sinistropedal,
  2. sinistrorse,
  3. sinistrotorsion,
  4. sinistrous,
  5. sinitic,
  6. sink in,
  7. sink one's teeth into,
  8. sink or swim,
  9. sink through the floor,
  10. sinkage


    sink one's teeth into,
    1. to bite deeply or vigorously.
    2. to do or enter into with great enthusiasm, concentration, conviction, etc.: to sink my teeth into solving the problem.

Origin of sink

before 1000; (v.) Middle English sinken, Old English sincan; cognate with Dutch zinken, German sinken, Old Norse sǫkkva, Gothic singkwan; (noun) late Middle English: cesspool, derivative of the v.

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for sink in

sink in


(intr, adverb) to enter or penetrate the mindeventually the news sank in


/ (sɪŋk) /

verb sinks, sinking, sank, sunk or sunken



informal (of a housing estate or school) deprived or having low standards of achievement
Derived Formssinkable, adjective

Word Origin for sink

Old English sincan; related to Old Norse sökkva to sink, Gothic siggan, Old High German sincan, Swedish sjunka

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 sink in
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for sink in


[ sĭngk ]

A part of the physical environment, or more generally any physical system, that absorbs some form of matter or energy. For example, a forest acts as a sink for carbon dioxide because it absorbs more of the gas in photosynthesis than it releases in respiration. Coral reefs are a long-lasting sink for carbon, which they sequester in their skeletons in the form of calcium carbonate.
  1. See playa.
  2. See sinkhole.
  3. A circular depression on the flank of a volcano, caused by the collapse of a volcanic wall.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with sink in

sink in

Penetrate the mind, be absorbed, as in The news of the crash didn't sink in right away. [Late 1300s]


In addition to the idioms beginning with sink

  • sink in
  • sinking feeling, a
  • sink one's teeth into
  • sink or swim
  • sink through the floor

also see:

  • desert a sinking ship
  • enough to sink a ship
  • everything but the kitchen sink
  • heart sinks
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.