Pronunciation: (singk), [key]
— v., n. sank sunk sunk sunk𠈮n sink•ing
- to displace part of the volume of a supporting substance or object and become totally or partially submerged or enveloped; fall or descend into or below the surface or to the bottom (often fol. by in or into): The battleship sank within two hours. His foot sank in the mud. Her head sinks into the pillows.
- to fall, drop, or descend gradually to a lower level: The river sank two feet during the dry spell.
- to settle or fall gradually, as a heavy structure: The tower is slowly sinking.
- to fall or collapse slowly from weakness, fatigue, distress, etc.: He gasped and sank to his knees.
- to slope downward; dip: The field sinks toward the highway.
- to go down toward or below the horizon: the sun sinks in the west.
- to penetrate, permeate, or seep (usually fol. by in or into): Wipe the oil off before it sinks into the wood.
- to become engulfed or absorbed in or gradually to enter a state (usually fol. by in or into): to sink into slumber.
- to be or become deeply absorbed or involved in a mood or mental state (usually fol. by in or into): sunk in thought. She sank into despair.
- to pass or fall into some lower state, as of fortune, estimation, etc.; degenerate: to sink into poverty.
- to decline or deteriorate in quality or worth.
- to fail in physical strength or health.
- to decrease in amount, extent, intensity, etc.: The temperature sank to 30° at noon.
- to become lower in volume, tone, or pitch: Her voice sank to a whisper.
- to enter or permeate the mind; become known or understood (usually fol. by in or into): He said it four times before the words really sank in.
- to become concave; become hollow, as the cheeks.
- to drop or fall gradually into a lower position: He sank down on the bench.
- to cause to become submerged or enveloped; force into or below the surface; cause to plunge in or down: The submarine sank the battleship. He sank his fist into the pillow.
- to cause to fall, drop, or descend gradually.
- to cause to penetrate: to sink an ax into a tree trunk.
- to lower or depress the level of: They sank the roadway by five feet.
- to bury, plant, or lay (a pipe, conduit, etc.) into or as if into the ground.
- to dig, bore, or excavate (a hole, shaft, well, etc.).
- to bring to a worse or lower state or status.
- to bring to utter ruin or collapse: Drinking and gambling sank him completely.
- to reduce in amount, extent, intensity, etc.
- to lower in volume, tone, or pitch.
- to suppress; ignore; omit.
- to invest in the hope of making a profit or gaining some other return: He sank all his efforts into the business.
- to lose (money) in an unfortunate investment, enterprise, etc.
- She sank the 10 ball into the side pocket.
- 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 sink my teeth into solving the problem.
- to bite deeply or vigorously.
- to do or enter into with great enthusiasm, concentration, conviction, etc.:to sink my teeth into solving the problem.
- a basin or receptacle, as in a kitchen or laundry, usually connected with a water supply and drainage system, for washing dishes, clothing, etc.
- a low-lying, poorly drained area where waters collect and sink into the ground or evaporate.
- sinkhole (def. 2).
- a place of vice or corruption.
- a drain or sewer.
- a device or place for disposing of energy within a system, as a power-consuming device in an electrical circuit or a condenser in a steam engine.
- any pond or pit for sewage or waste, as a cesspool or a pool for industrial wastes.
- any natural process by which contaminants are removed from the atmosphere.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.