slam dunk

a certainty


a slam dunk = eine todsichere Sache, eine bombensichere Sache, ein Volltreffer —— to slam-dunk sth. [as in basketball] = etw. (kraftvoll) im Korb versenken [wie in Basketball]



“The 2024 Republican race is no longer a SLAM DUNK for Donald Trump.”

Chris Cillizza - CNN Headline (12 July 2022)

“Six months ago, Jan Hendrik Schön seemed like a SLAM-DUNK nominee for a Nobel prize. Then some of his colleagues started to take a closer look at his research.”

Leonard Cassuto - The Guardian (18 Sep 2002)

Did you

slam dunk
noun phrase

- something regarded as certain to occur or be accomplished, typically something desirable that requires little further effort

- if you say that something is a slam dunk, you mean that a success or victory will be easily achieved

- in basketball, a slam dunk is a shot in which a player jumps up and forces the ball through the basket

Dictionary dot com / Collins Dictionary


“Slam dunk” was coined by the Los Angeles Lakers professional basketball team’s announcer Chick Stearn in 1972. It is a type of basketball shot that is performed when a player jumps in the air and powers the ball downward through the basket with one or both of his hands over the rim.

The term derives from the verb “to dunk” meaning to dip or submerge something.

Because a slam dunk almost always leads to a successful shot, the expression came to be synonymous with anything that has a very good chance of succeeding.


One of the most well-known usages of slam dunk occurred during the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war.

When asked by U.S. President George W. Bush how confident he was that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), CIA Director George Tenet allegedly replied, “Don’t worry, it’s a slam dunk.”

Tenet eventually resigned from his position after it became clear that Iraq had no WMDs.


- something that is assumed to be fact or a certainty

all sewn up, cast-iron certainty, chalk it up, cert, cinch, dead cert(ainty), destiny, done deal (deed), foregone conclusion, inescapability, inevitability, in the bag, no brainer, open-and-shut case, safe bet, SLAM DUNK, sure bet (thing), surefire (winner), written in stone, you can count on it, write it down

SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“This contract is no SLAM DUNK, we're competing against several excellent companies.”

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Paul Smith, IBAN: DE75 7316 0000 0002 5477 40

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