sink - definition and synonyms


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present tense
present participlesinking
past tensesank
past participlesunk
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to disappear below the surface of the water

    The ship sank off the coast of Newfoundland during a storm.

    Do you think the cork will float or sink?

    1. a.
      [transitive] to make something, especially a boat, disappear below the surface of the water

      The enemy sank three ships last night.

    2. b.
      [intransitive] to go below the surface of a soft substance
      sink into:

      Our feet sank into the mud as we walked.

  2. 2
    [intransitive] to move to a lower level

    The water level in the lake had sunk by several feet.

    The porch on the old house was beginning to sink.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] to fall, sit, or lie down
    sink to:

    The wounded deer sank to the ground.

    sink to your knees:

    He sank to his knees and begged for forgiveness.

    sink into:

    When I got home, all I wanted to do was sink into a hot bath.

  4. 4
    [intransitive] to become worse
    sinking fast:

    The patient is sinking fast and may not last through the night.

    sink into crisis/chaos:

    Without a stable central government, the country is sinking into crisis.

    sink into despair:

    As the search went on, Simon began to sink into despair.

    1. a.
      if your spirits sink, you become sad

      After reading the letter, my spirits sank even further.

    2. b.
  5. 5
    [intransitive] when the sun sinks, it gets lower in the sky until it disappears

    The sun was sinking in the west.

  6. 6
    [intransitive] to go down in value or amount
    sink to:

    Agricultural production had sunk to its lowest level in years.

  7. 7
    [intransitive] to become quiet

    Their voices sank to a whisper.

  8. 8
    [intransitive] to do something wrong
    sink to (doing) something:

    How could you sink to stealing money from your own mother?

    sink so low (as to):

    I never thought he would sink so low as to lie to me about it.

  9. 9
    [transitive] to push something sharp into something solid

    The cat sank its claws into my leg.

  10. 10
    [transitive] to invest money in something because you hope you will make more money

    We’ve sunk several thousand dollars into the project so far.

  11. 11
    [transitive] in games such as golf or pool, to put a ball into a hole

    He only has to sink the pink ball to win the game.

  12. 12
    [transitive] British informal to drink alcoholic drinks

phrasal verbs