from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One that sinks, as a weight used for sinking fishing lines or nets.
  • noun Slang A doughnut.
  • noun Baseball A sinkerball.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Same as dead-head, 4.
  • noun A heavy dumpling or doughnut; a dough-sinker; a dough-boy.
  • noun A (silver) dollar.
  • noun See the extract.
  • noun One who or that which sinks or causes to sink. Particularly
  • noun In knitting-machines, stocking-frames, etc., one of several flat pieces of metal attached to the jacks, and also to the sinker-bar, and serving to form loops in the thread between the needles. See jack, 11 , sinker-bar, and knitting-machine.
  • noun A cesspool.
  • noun A hollow sinker containing shot, that may be adjusted to any required weight.
  • noun A sinker with spiral rings, which can be put on and taken off the line without disturbing the hook or bait.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A weight on something, as on a fish line, to sink it.
  • noun In knitting machines, one of the thin plates, blades, or other devices, that depress the loops upon or between the needles.
  • noun in knitting machines, a sinker between two jack sinkers and acting alternately with them.
  • noun See under Jack, n.
  • noun In deep well boring, a heavy bar forming a connection between the lifting rope and the boring tools, above the jars.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun fishing A weight used in fishing to cause the line or net to sink
  • noun baseball Any of several high speed pitches that have a downward motion near the plate; a two-seam fastball, a split-finger fastball, or a forkball
  • noun construction Sinker nail, used for framing in current construction.
  • noun slang A doughnut; a biscuit.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a weight that sinks (as to hold nets or fishing lines under water)
  • noun a small ring-shaped friedcake
  • noun a pitch that curves downward rapidly as it approaches the plate


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

to sink + -er.



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  • A fishing weight, a doughnut, a baseball pitch, a cesspool. You pick.

    October 26, 2011

  • "Sixty or seventy years ago the breakfast of Cornish apprentice lads on a farm was invariably sky-blue and sinkers. Into a three-legged crock fixed over a brisk fire of furze, and turf, was poured a quantity of water. While this was coming to the boil some Barley-flour was mixed in a basin with scalded milk, and the same was emptied into the water in the crock, and allowed to boil for a minute or two. Next it was poured into basins containing sops of Barley bread. These sops sank to the bottom, nothing being visible but the liquid mess, sky-blue in colour, and therefore called in its entirety "sky-blue and sinkers," being eaten with an iron spoon. As the price of wheat was in those days nearly double that of Barley, wheaten bread was a delicacy which the working classes could but rarely afford themselves: their ordinary bread, and their pasties, were made of Barley-flour."

    - W.T. Fernie, 'Meals Medicinal', 1905.

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    July 26, 2014

  • I think that any item whose significant property in a given context is to sink can be subsumed in the general definition of "sinker;" but I am pleased to call attention to a very funny Dave Barry column from years ago that colorfully documents one such specific instance. It seems that engineers designing toilets that can effectively flush solids fashion objects out of various substances to produce both "sinkers" and "floaters" with which to test their designs. You might say that they concoct a mock turd soup.

    July 26, 2014