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[duhngk] /dʌŋk/
verb (used with object)
to dip (a doughnut, cake, etc.) into coffee, milk, or the like, before eating.
to submerge in a liquid:
She dunked the curtains in the dye.
Basketball. to attempt to thrust (a ball) through the basket using a dunk shot.
verb (used without object)
to dip or submerge something, oneself, etc., in a liquid:
She thinks it's vulgar to dunk. Let's dunk in the pool before dinner.
Basketball. to execute or attempt a dunk shot.
any flavorful sauce, dip, gravy, etc., into which portions of food are dipped before eating.
Basketball. dunk shot.
Origin of dunk
1865-70, Americanism; < Pennsylvania German dunke to dip, immerse; compare German tunken, Middle High German dunken, tunken, Old High German thunkōn, dunkōn
Related forms
dunkable, adjective, noun
dunker, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dunk
  • There is no slam-dunk evidence that tyrannosaurs or other large predatory dinosaurs hunted in packs.
  • Nutritionally, they're a slam-dunk, high in fiber and protein.
  • And some believe that anybody a given department recommends should be a slam-dunk.
  • Their arguments are so pathetic, counterarguments based upon fact are a slam-dunk.
  • dunk the frame into soapy water, and the bubble trapped inside takes on the same shape as the surrounding scaffolding.
  • How you got involved in this whole thing was with the aim to slam dunk it.
  • Conversely, it would probably be tough for you to dunk, let alone dunk entertainingly enough that people would pay to watch it.
  • And if that doesn't work, then you simply dunk it into a river.
  • Lasagnes of any kind are a slam dunk, a sure crowd-pleaser.
  • dunk your mop or sponge in the bucket and wring it out thoroughly.
British Dictionary definitions for dunk


to dip (bread, etc) in tea, soup, etc, before eating
to submerge or be submerged in liquid
Derived Forms
dunker, noun
Word Origin
C20: from Pennsylvania Dutch, from Middle High German dunken, from Old High German dunkōn; see duck², tinge
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
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Word Origin and History for dunk

1919, American English, from Pennsylvania German dunke "to dip," from Middle High German dunken, from Old High German dunkon, thunkon "to soak," from PIE root *teng- "to soak" (see tincture).

Basketball sense is first recorded 1937 as a verb, 1971 as a noun (earlier dunk shot). German-American Anabaptist sect of Dunkers (who baptize with triple immersion) first recorded by that name 1756.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for dunk


  1. : Leroy had a quick dunk in the creek
  2. A basketball field goal scored by putting the ball into the hoop from just beside or above it: Almost all of the baskets were dunks/ basketball courts where the dunks have been so fierce lately (1937+ Basketball)
  1. To dip something into a liquid, esp to dip food into a drink: Scientific temperature readings cannot be taken just by dunking a thermometer on a string (1919+)
  2. To go into the water: Be right back, just want to dunk (1940s+)
  3. : He jumped up and dunked another one
Related Terms

slam dunk

[fr Pennsylvania German dunken, ''dip'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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