- accomplish something with great ease or efficiency.
- complete a task very quickly or easily.
- figuratively, act very thoroughly or skillfully.
- do something very swiftly or successfully.
- score a decisive victory or accomplish something in an utterly dominant fashion.
- comprehensively outclass an opponent or rival.
- overwhelmingly surpass expectations or the competition.
- The new software made data entry a slam-dunk.
- Closing the sale was a slam-dunk once we addressed the customer’s main objections.
- As soon as I read the instructions, the puzzle became a slam dunk.
- After years of hard work and setbacks, launching the IPO was a slam-dunk.
- For a basketball player of LeBron’s caliber, that shot was a slam dunk.
- The CEO wanted this project to be a slam-dunk, so we pulled out all the stops to ensure its success.
- Our new gadget was a slam dunk at the technical conference, generating enthusiasm and interest.
- For an easy homework assignment, you can count on your kids to slam-dunk
“Slam dunk” originated in basketball. A slam dunk is an energetic and exciting shot where the ball is thrust into the basket at high speed.
To perform a slam dunk, a player leaps off the ground with the ball held above their head with both hands. As they reach the apex of their jump, they forcefully slam the ball down into the rim and through the basket. The loud, decisive sound of the ball slamming down gives the phrase its name. Slam dunks are more forceful and adrenaline-fueled than standard dunk shots and are meant to excite players and spectators.
The first known use of “slam dunk” was in 1937. As basketball became more popular, especially the acrobatic and daring above-the-rim play styles, the slam dunk evolved into a proper aerial technique and high-flying spectacle sport. Iconic players like Michael Jordan popularized the move, incorporating it into their signature aerial “tricks and dunks” repertoire.
Over time, “slam dunk” took on a figurative meaning beyond basketball. It metaphorically referred to any decisive, powerful, or forceful success in any area of life. For example, “slam dunking” a job interview means acing it, or “that new law proposal is a slam dunk” means it will pass overwhelmingly.