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verb, \ˈdīv\

Simple Definition of dive

  • : to jump into water with your arms and head going in first

  • : to swim underwater usually while using special equipment to help you breathe

  • : to go underwater or down to a deeper level underwater

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of dive

dived play \ˈdīvd\ or dove play \ˈdōv\ dived also dovediving

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to plunge into water intentionally and especially headfirst; also :  to execute a dive b :  submerge <the submarine dived>

  3. 2 a :  to come or drop down precipitously :  plunge <the temperature is diving> b :  to plunge one's hand into something c of an airplane :  to descend in a dive

  4. 3 a :  to plunge into some matter or activity <she dove into her studies> b :  to plunge or dash for some place <diving for cover>; also :  to lunge especially in order to seize something <dove for the ball>

  5. transitive verb
  6. 1 :  to thrust into something

  7. 2 :  to cause to dive <dive a submarine>

Usage Discussion of dive

Dive, which was originally a weak verb, developed a past tense dove, probably by analogy with verbs like drive, drove. Dove exists in some British dialects and has become the standard past tense especially in speech in some parts of Canada. In the United States dived and dove are both widespread in speech as past tense and past participle, with dove less common than dived in the south Midland area, and dived less common than dove in the Northern and north Midland areas. In writing, the past tense dived is usual in British English and somewhat more common in American English. Dove seems relatively rare as a past participle in writing.

Examples of dive in a sentence

  1. She dove into the swimming pool.

  2. The children like to dive off the boat.

  3. The competitors will be diving from the highest platform.

  4. Many people enjoy diving on the island's coral reefs.

  5. You can't dive in this water without a wet suit.

  6. The submarine can dive to 3,000 feet.

  7. The whale dove down to deeper water.

Origin of dive

Middle English diven, duven, from Old English dȳfan to dip & dūfan to dive; akin to Old English dyppan to dip — more at dip

First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Nautical Terms

Rhymes with dive




Simple Definition of dive

  • : a jump into water with your arms and head going in first

  • : an act of swimming underwater usually while using special equipment (such as a snorkel or air tank) to help you breathe

  • : a usually steep downward movement of a submarine, airplane, bird, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of dive

  1. 1 :  the act or an instance of diving: as a (1) :  a plunge into water executed in a prescribed manner (2) :  a submerging of a submarine (3) :  a steep descent of an airplane at greater than the maximum horizontal speed b :  a sharp decline

  2. 2 :  a shabby and disreputable establishment (as a bar or nightclub)

  3. 3 :  a faked knockout —usually used in the phrase take a dive

  4. 4 :  an offensive play in football in which the ballcarrier plunges into the line for short yardage

Examples of dive in a sentence

  1. She practiced her dives for the competition.

  2. This will be my first dive on a coral reef.

  3. She has done dives all around the world.

  4. The crew of the submarine prepared for a dive.

  5. The jet rolled into a dive.


First Known Use of dive


Other Nautical Terms

DIVE Defined for Kids



verb \ˈdīv\

Definition of dive for Students

dived or dove \ˈdōv\diving

  1. 1 :  to plunge into water headfirst

  2. 2 :  to swim underwater especially while using special equipment

  3. 3 :  submerge 1 <The submarine dived.>

  4. 4 :  to fall fast <The temperature is diving.>

  5. 5 :  to descend in an airplane at a steep angle

  6. 6 :  to move forward suddenly into or at something <We dove for cover.>

diver noun




Definition of dive for Students

  1. 1 :  an act of plunging headfirst into water

  2. 2 :  an act of swimming underwater especially while using special equipment

  3. 3 :  an act of submerging a submarine

  4. 4 :  a quick drop (as of prices)

  5. 5 :  a sudden movement forward into or at something <He made a dive for the door.>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up dive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to dishevel or rumple

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