see also: Sink
  • (British, America) IPA: /sɪŋk/

sink (sinks, present participle sinking; past sank, past participle sunk)

  1. (heading, physical) To move or be moved into something.
    1. (ergative) To descend or submerge (or to cause to do so) into a liquid or similar substance.
      A stone sinks in water.  The sun gradually sank in the west.
    2. (transitive) To cause a vessel to sink, generally by making it no longer watertight.
    3. (transitive) To push (something) into something.
      The joint will hold tighter if you sink a wood screw through both boards.  The dog sank its teeth into the delivery man's leg.
    4. (transitive) To make by digging or delving.
      to sink a well in the ground
    5. (transitive, snooker, pool, billiards, golf) To pot; hit a ball into a pocket or hole.
      • 2008, Edward Keating, The Joy of Ex: A Novel
        My sister beats me at pool in public a second time. I claim some dignity back by potting two of my balls before Tammy sinks the black.
  2. (heading, social) To diminish or be diminished.
    1. (intransitive, figuratively, of the human heart) To experience apprehension, disappointment, dread, or momentary depression.
      • 1897, Bram Stoker, Dracula, Ch.21:
        I tried, but I could not wake him. This caused me a great fear, and I looked around terrified. Then indeed, my heart sank within me. Beside the bed, as if he had stepped out of the mist, or rather as if the mist had turned into his figure, for it had entirely disappeared, stood a tall, thin man, all in black.
      • 1915, Thornton Burgess, The Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel, Little, Brown, and Company, Boston; ch. XIX:
        Peter's heart sank. "Don't you think it is dreadful?" he asked.
    2. (transitive, figurative) To cause to decline; to depress or degrade.
      to sink one's reputation
      • circa 1613 William Shakespeare and John Fletcher, Henry VIII (play), Act II, scene i:
        And if I have a conscience, let it sink me
      • 1700, Nicholas Rowe (writer) The Ambitious Stepmother, Act II, scene ii:
        Thy cruel and unnatural lust of power / Has sunk thy father more than all his years.
    3. (intransitive) To demean or lower oneself; to do something below one's status, standards, or morals.
      • 2013, Steve Henschel, Niagara This Week, April 24:
        Who would sink so low as to steal change from veterans?
  3. (transitive, slang, archaic) To conceal and appropriate.
  4. (transitive, slang, archaic) To keep out of sight; to suppress; to ignore.
    • 1849 December 15, Frederick William Robertson, Sermon 14, “The Principle of Spiritual Harvest”:
      I say not always dishonorable qualifications, but a certain flexibility of disposition; a certain courtly willingness to sink obnoxious truths, and adapt ourselves to the prejudices of the minds of others […]
  5. (transitive, slang) To pay absolutely.
    I have sunk thousands of pounds into this project.
  6. (transitive, slang, archaic) To reduce or extinguish by payment.
    to sink the national debt
  7. (intransitive) To be overwhelmed or depressed; to fail in strength.
    • c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act IV, scene iii]:
      I think our country sinks beneath the yoke.
  8. (intransitive) To decrease in volume, as a river; to subside; to become diminished in volume or in apparent height.
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter 1, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., […], OCLC 752825175 ↗:
      It was not far from the house; but the ground sank into a depression there, and the ridge of it behind shut out everything except just the roof of the tallest hayrick. As one sat on the sward behind the elm, with the back turned on the rick and nothing in front but the tall elms and the oaks in the other hedge, it was quite easy to fancy it the verge of the prairie with the backwoods close by.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Noun

sink (plural sinks)

  1. A basin used for holding water for washing.
  2. A drain for carrying off wastewater.
  3. (geology) A sinkhole.
  4. A depression in land where water collects, with no visible outlet.
  5. A heat sink.
  6. A place that absorbs resources or energy.
  7. (baseball) The motion of a sinker pitch.
    Jones has a two-seamer with heavy sink.
  8. (computing, programming) An object or callback that captures events; event sink
  9. (graph theory) a destination vertex in a transportation network
  10. An abode of degraded persons; a wretched place.
  11. A depression in a stereotype plate.
  12. (theater) A stage trap-door for shifting scenery.
  13. (mining) An excavation less than a shaft.
Synonyms Antonyms Translations Translations Translations
  • Russian: теплоотвод
Translations Related terms
Proper noun
  1. Surname

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