Definition of sink verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//sɪŋk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sɪŋk//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they sink
    BrE BrE//sɪŋk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sɪŋk//
    he / she / it sinks
    BrE BrE//sɪŋks//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sɪŋks//
    past simple sank
    BrE BrE//sæŋk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sæŋk//
    past participle sunk
    BrE BrE//sʌŋk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sʌŋk//
    -ing form sinking
    BrE BrE//ˈsɪŋkɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɪŋkɪŋ//
    Pool and snooker, Travelling by boat or ship
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    in water/mud, etc.
  1. 1  [intransitive] to go down below the surface or towards the bottom of a liquid or soft substance The ship sank to the bottom of the sea. We're sinking! The wheels started to sink into the mud. The little boat sank beneath the waves. to sink like a stone
  2. boat
  3. 2  [transitive] sink something to damage a boat or ship so that it goes below the surface of the sea, etc. a battleship sunk by a torpedo Bombs sank all four carriers. See related entries: Travelling by boat or ship
  4. fall/sit down
  5. 3[intransitive] + adv./prep. (of a person) to move downwards, especially by falling or sitting down synonym collapse I sank into an armchair. She sank back into her seat, exhausted. The old man had sunk to his knees.
  6. move downwards
  7. 4  [intransitive] (of an object) to move slowly downwards The sun was sinking in the west. The foundations of the building are starting to sink.
  8. become weaker
  9. 5[intransitive] to decrease in amount, volume, strength, etc. The pound has sunk to its lowest recorded level against the dollar. He is clearly sinking fast (= getting weaker quickly and will soon die).
  10. of voice
  11. 6[intransitive] to become quieter synonym fade Her voice sank to a whisper.
  12. dig in ground
  13. 7[transitive] sink something to make a deep hole in the ground synonym drill to sink a well/shaft/mine
  14. 8[transitive] sink something (+ adv./prep.) to place something in the ground by digging to sink a post into the ground see also sunken
  15. prevent success
  16. 9[transitive] sink something/somebody (informal) to prevent somebody or somebody’s plans from succeeding I think I've just sunk my chances of getting the job. If the car breaks down, we'll be sunk (= have serious problems).
  17. ball
  18. 10[transitive] sink something to hit a ball into a hole in golf or snooker He sank a 12-foot putt to win the match. See related entries: Pool and snooker
  19. alcohol
  20. 11[transitive] sink something (British English, informal) to drink something quickly, especially a large amount of alcohol They sank three pints each in 10 minutes.
  21. Word Originverb Old English sincan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zinken and German sinken.Extra examples Dexter sank back into his seat. Duane was in waist-deep and sinking fast. He sank lower into his chair. He sank to his knees, grasping at his stomach. He sank up to his knees in the mud. His boots sank deep into the mud. I sank gratefully into the warm, dry bed. In a situation like this, you either sink or swim. It seemed as though the ship had sunk without trace. Our feet sank deep into the soft sand as we walked. She sank down into the soft soil. She sank gracefully down onto a cushion at his feet. She sank to the ground and started to cry. She sank to the ground, exhausted. The airline industry is sinking under the weight of its losses. The boat nearly sank under the increased weight. The box sank like a stone. The old man had sunk to his knees. The project gradually sank into oblivion. The ship had sunk to the bottom of the sea. The sun had sunk below the horizon. The sun was sinking lower. Virgil rapidly sank into depression. We watched the boat sink beneath the waves. With this article the newspaper has sunk to a new low. His voice sank almost to a whisper. She sank back into her seat.Idioms to be in a state of unhappiness or deep thought She just sat there, sunk in thought.
    (like rats) deserting/leaving a sinking ship
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    (humorous, disapproving) used to talk about people who leave an organization, a company, etc. that is having difficulties, without caring about the people who are left
    somebody’s heart sinks
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    used to say that somebody suddenly feels sad or depressed about something My heart sank when I saw how much work there was left. She watched him go with a sinking heart.
    to agree to forget about your disagreements We need to sink our differences and present a united opposition to the plan. (informal) an unpleasant feeling that you get when you realize that something bad has happened or is going to happen I had a horrible sinking feeling when I saw the ambulance outside the house. to be in a situation where you will either succeed by your own efforts or fail completely The new students were just left to sink or swim.
    sink so low, sink to something
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    to have such low moral standards that you do something very bad Stealing from your friends? How could you sink so low? I can't believe that anyone would sink to such depths.
    Phrasal Verbssink insink into somethingsink into somethingsink something into something
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sink