Definition of clunk in US English:

clunk

noun

  • 1A heavy, dull sound such as that made by thick pieces of metal striking together.

    • ‘My heels' sound changed from the dull clunk of shoe on wood to the clipped sharpness of heel on marble.’
    • ‘Something landed with a dull clunk in front her.’
    • ‘Until seconds before the reassuring clunk of the landing gear, only the aeroplane's shadow skimming across the murky water is visible immediately below.’
    • ‘I was skipping down the stairs into the subway as the doors on the train were beeping closed, but suddenly they stopped dead with a clunk, and opened again.’
    • ‘The air around him slowly grew warmer, and he began to hear the heavy clunk and crunch of metal slabs grinding together.’
    • ‘This method of tuning the pan is what gives it it's ringing quality as opposed to a dull clunk.’
    • ‘‘It's him,’ she said crisply setting her bag down on the ground with a heavy clunk as the new binders connected with the ground through the fabric.’
    • ‘He dumped it all on the floor with an assortment of thumps and clunks.’
    • ‘I got in and tried to start the truck, but all I got was a loud clunk from the starter.’
    • ‘Seconds later, I heard a dull clunk as he placed the firewood on the floor.’
    • ‘Step inside: the doors have the clunk of a well-built car; the seats have lovely back rests.’
    • ‘Clunk clunk clunk went the footsteps overhead.’
    • ‘A plate sank to the bottom of the sink, where it made a dull clunk.’
    • ‘It was silent for a long moment, except for the usual clunk of wagon wheels on the uneven street and the muffled shouts of men calling from their market stalls.’
    • ‘The pilot walked in after the three clunks had sounded.’
    • ‘There followed the sound of a chair falling over and a metallic clunk as an ash tray tumbled to the stone floor.’
    • ‘The sound of a clunk hit the door before he opened it and a guy with red hair hobbled in holding his skull.’
    • ‘‘People have opinions,’ he said, firmly punctuating his remark, bringing his beer mug down on the counter with a clunk.’
    bang, sharp noise, crack, boom, clang, peal, clap, pop, snap, knock, tap, slam, thud, thump, clonk, clash, crash, smash, smack
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  • 2US informal A stupid or foolish person.

    idiot, ass, halfwit, nincompoop, blockhead, buffoon, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, cretin, imbecile, dullard, moron, simpleton, clod
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verb

[no object]
  • Move with or make heavy, dull sounds.

    ‘the machinery clunked into life’
    • ‘The air conditioner was an old window rattler that continuously clunked, banged and leaked water everywhere.’
    • ‘She followed in her wake, and she could hear the sound of her boots clunking on the ground.’
    • ‘A gentle drumbeat begins clunking out of the speakers, along with a simple, tinny, synthesized melody.’
    • ‘It was so heavy, that when I tried to pick it up, it just clunked onto the ground and wouldn't budge.’
    • ‘Giving them a moment to embrace, he stepped forward toward them, steel boots clunking against the floor with great dramatic effect.’
    • ‘She heard clunking sounds above her, as if someone were moving around in the hayloft.’
    • ‘It evokes new millennium visions of robots clunking around in factories.’
    • ‘Mother came clunking up the stairs, and yelled, before she had to open the door.’
    • ‘I could often be found clunking around on the mountain bike, although always on a paved trail or street.’
    • ‘He shook his head and almost expected to hear the sound of something clunking around.’
    • ‘Behind me, I heard footsteps, clunking against the black asphalt.’
    • ‘I received a call from a customer one day asking if his hard drive could be upgraded to a higher gig drive (his old one was clunking and making noise).’
    • ‘The sound of desks clunking and the shuffling of feet against the linoleum, filled her ears, as she got her materials organized and finally went to the front of the class.’
    • ‘While the computer whirred and clunked contentedly doing its defragmentation thing, I settled back in my chair, feet up on the desk, to listen to some Handel.’
    • ‘Her head clunked back against the post.’
    • ‘I tried to slow my breathing as I listened to my mother's footsteps clunking up the stairs.’
    • ‘I assume that the reason dentists - and, for all I know, brain surgeons - are clunking around in clogs is because they minimise the harm to their feet from standing up all day.’
    • ‘The cover had slid closed after that, clunking down securely.’
    • ‘And so they walked on, boots clunking on the hollow floor.’
    • ‘He waved the man off dismissively and we all watched as his car clunked and rattled its way out of the parking lot.’
    jangling, clanging, rattling, clinking, jingling, clunking, clattering
    jangle, rattle, clink, clang, jingle, clunk, clatter
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Origin

Late 18th century (originally Scots, as a verb): imitative; compare with clank, clink, and clonk.

Pronunciation

clunk

/kləŋk//kləNGk/