- sink (v.)
- Old English sincan "become submerged, go under" (past tense sanc, past participle suncen), from Proto-Germanic *senkwanan (cf. Old Saxon sinkan, Old Norse sökkva, Middle Dutch sinken, Dutch zinken, Old High German sinkan, German sinken, Gothic sigqan), from PIE root *sengw- "to sink."
The transitive use supplants Middle English sench (cf. drink/drench) which died out 14c. Sinking fund is from 1724; sinker in fishing line sense is from 1844. Adjective phrase sink or swim is from 1660s. To sink without a trace is World War I military jargon, translating German spurlos versenkt.
- sink (n.)
- early 15c., "pool or pit for wastewater or sewage," from sink (v.). Sense of "shallow basin with drainpipe" first recorded 1560s.