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.
- to throw, shoot, hit, or propel (a ball) so that it goes through or into the basket, hole, pocket, etc.: She sank the 10 ball into the side pocket.
- to execute (a stroke or throw) so that the ball goes through or into the basket, hole, pocket, etc.: to sink a putt; to sink a free throw.
- to bite deeply or vigorously.
- to do or enter into with great enthusiasm, concentration, conviction, etc.: to sink my teeth into solving the problem.
Origin of sink
verb sinks, sinking, sank, sunk or sunken
- to invest (money)
- to lose (money) in an unwise or unfortunate investment
Word Origin for sink
Old English sincan (intransitive) "become submerged, go under, subside" (past tense sanc, past participle suncen), from Proto-Germanic *senkwanan (cf. Old Saxon sinkan, Old Norse sökkva, Middle Dutch sinken, Dutch zinken, Old High German sinkan, German sinken, Gothic sigqan), from PIE root *sengw- "to sink."
The transitive use (mid-13c.) supplanted Middle English sench (cf. drink/drench) which died out 14c. Related: Sank; sunk; sinking. Sinking fund is from 1724. Adjective phrase sink or swim is from 1660s. To sink without a trace is World War I military jargon, translating German spurlos versenkt.
early 15c., "cesspool, pit for reception of wastewater or sewage," from sink (v.). Figurative sense of "place where corruption and vice abound" is from 1520s. Meaning "drain for carrying water to a sink" is from late 15c. Sense of "shallow basin (especially in a kitchen) with a drainpipe for carrying off dirty water" first recorded 1560s. In science and technical use, "place where heat or other energy is removed from a system" (opposite of source), from 1855.
- See playa.
- See sinkhole.
- A circular depression on the flank of a volcano, caused by the collapse of a volcanic wall.
sink one's teeth into
Also, get one's teeth into. Become fully engaged in, as in He couldn't wait to sink his teeth into that problem. This metaphoric expression alludes to an animal biting vigorously into its prey. [Early 1900s]
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
- desert a sinking ship
- enough to sink a ship
- everything but the kitchen sink
- heart sinks