[ suhngk ]
/ sʌŋk /


a simple past tense and past participle of sink.


Informal. beyond help; done for; washed up: If they catch you cheating, you're really sunk.
Nautical. (of a forecastle or poop) raised less than a full deck above the weather deck of a ship.

Nearby words

  1. sunglass,
  2. sunglasses,
  3. sunglow,
  4. sungrebe,
  5. sunhat,
  6. sunk fence,
  7. sunk relief,
  8. sunken,
  9. sunken garden,
  10. sunket

Origin of sunk

1925–30 for def 2

Related formshalf-sunk, adjectiveun·sunk, adjective


[ 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.


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

Examples from the Web for sunk

British Dictionary definitions for sunk


/ (sʌŋk) /


a past participle of sink


informal with all hopes dashed; ruinedif the police come while we're opening the safe, we'll be sunk


/ (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 sunk
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for sunk


[ 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 sunk


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.