a person or thing that sinks.
a person employed in sinking, as one who sinks shafts.
a weight, as of lead, for sinking a fishing line or net below the surface of the water.
Slang. a doughnut or, sometimes, a biscuit or muffin.
Also called sinkerball. Baseball. a pitched ball that curves downward sharply as it reaches the plate.

Origin of sinker

1520–30; 1920–25 for def 4; 1925–30 for def 5; sink + -er1
Related formssink·er·less, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sinker

Contemporary Examples of sinker

Historical Examples of sinker

  • A pressure-gauge to register the depth of the sinker has been added by Sir William.

  • Even I swallered that Development Company, hook, line, and sinker.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • I have arranged this sinker, which has a hole through it, so that the line will run freely.

  • An' I'll bet a sinker it'll beat that Bally Klavvy bizness if we do it well.

  • No sinker or float is required, as the bait must be kept near the surface.

    Bass, Pike, Perch, and Others

    James Alexander Henshall

British Dictionary definitions for sinker



a weight attached to a fishing line, net, etc, to cause it to sink in water
a person who sinks shafts, etc
US an informal word for doughnut
hook, line, and sinker See hook (def. 18)
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 sinker

1838 in the fishing-line sense, agent noun from sink (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with sinker


see hook, line, and sinker.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.