v. & n.
--v. (past sank or sunk; past part. sunk or sunken)
1. intr. fall or come slowly downwards.
2 intr. disappear below the horizon (the sun is sinking).
3 intr. a go or penetrate below the surface esp. of a liquid. b (of a ship) go to the bottom of the sea etc.
4 intr. settle down comfortably (sank into a chair).
5 intr. a gradually lose strength or value or quality etc.; decline (my heart sank). b (of the voice) descend in pitch or volume. c (of a sick person) approach death.
6 tr. send (a ship) to the bottom of the sea etc.
7 tr. cause or allow to sink or penetrate (sank its teeth into my leg).
8 tr. cause the failure of (a plan etc.) or the discomfiture of (a person).
9 tr. dig (a well) or bore (a shaft).
10 tr. engrave (a die) or inlay (a design).
11 tr. a invest (money) (sunk a large sum into the business). b lose (money) by investment.
12 tr. a cause (a ball) to enter a pocket in billiards, a hole at golf, etc. b achieve this by (a stroke).
13 tr. overlook or forget; keep in the background (sank their differences).
14 intr. (of a price etc.) become lower.
15 intr. (of a storm or river) subside.
16 intr. (of ground) slope down, or reach a lower level by subsidence.
17 intr. (foll. by on, upon) (of darkness) descend (on a place).
18 tr. lower the level of.
19 tr. (usu. in passive; foll. by in) absorb; hold the attention of (be sunk in thought).
1. a fixed basin with a water-supply and outflow pipe.
2 a place where foul liquid collects.
3 a place of vice or corruption.
4 a pool or marsh in which a river's water disappears by evaporation or percolation.
5 Physics a body or process used to absorb or dissipate heat.
6 (in full sink-hole) Geol. a cavity in limestone etc. into which a stream etc. disappears.
Phrases and idioms:
1. penetrate or make its way in.
2 become gradually comprehended (paused to let the words sink in). sinking feeling a bodily sensation caused by hunger or apprehension. sinking fund money set aside for the gradual repayment of a debt. sink or swim even at the risk of complete failure (determined to try, sink or swim). sunk fence a fence formed by, or along the bottom of, a ditch.
sinkable adj. sinkage n.
Etymology: OE sincan f. Gmc