Definition of sunken in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈsəNGkən/


1 [attributive] Having sunk or been submerged in water: the wreck of a sunken ship
More example sentences
  • Filmed from above and below the water's surface, the behemoth station sits immersed like a sunken ship, shrouded in water and silence.
  • Only limited acknowledgment is made of the most sensational of recent discoveries, the architectural and sculptural remains of an extensive quarter of the royal palace, now sunken in the waters of the harbor.
  • We just liked it ‘cause it sounded more like the name of a sunken ship you'd dredge up after 300 years at the bottom of the sea.
2 [attributive] At a lower level than the surrounding area: a sunken garden
More example sentences
  • The treatment rooms have an organic feel and simplicity of styling: drystone walling features in the health suite, mosaic tiling covers the flooring in the communal area and surrounds a sunken jacuzzi overlooking the mountains.
  • While the auditorium's revolving stage remained, the portal arch was transformed into arched bridges to sunken, unroofed parking areas.
  • Throughout the scheme, tiers of steps leading into the sunken areas provide informal seating and car parking is screened by hedges of dark cypresses.
below ground level, at a lower level, lowered
2.1(Of a person’s eyes or cheeks) deeply recessed, especially as a result of illness, hunger, or stress: her face was white, with sunken cheeks
More example sentences
  • Its sunken eyes and protruding jaw give its face the look of a terrifying human skull that contrasts with its soulful baby-blue eyes.
  • Seeing her tired face and sunken eyes, he is touched.
  • Some of the more traditional beliefs were that you could tell a werewolf that was in human form due to their sunken eyes and their eyebrows that met in the middle.


Late Middle English: past participle of sink1.

Words that rhyme with sunken

drunken, Duncan, shrunken

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sunk·en

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.