\ˈdīv \
dived\ ˈdīvd \ or dove\ ˈdōv \; dived also dove; diving

Definition of dive 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to plunge into water intentionally and especially headfirst also : to execute a dive (see dive entry 2 sense 1a(1)) diving into the pool from the highest platform

b : submerge the submarine dived

2a : to come or drop down precipitously : plunge the temperature is diving

b : to plunge one's hand into something dived into his pocket

c of an airplane : to descend in a dive

3a : 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

transitive verb

1 : to thrust into something diving one's hands into the icy water

2 : to cause to dive dive a submarine



Definition of dive (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or an instance of diving: such as

a(1) : a plunge into water executed in a prescribed manner practicing her dives

(2) nautical : a submerging of a submarine

(3) aviation : a steep descent of an airplane at greater than the maximum speed of horizontal flight

b : a sharp decline Stocks took a dive.

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

3 combat sports : a faked knockout usually used in the phrase take a dive a boxer accused of taking a dive

4 football : an offensive (see offensive entry 1 sense 1c) play in which the ballcarrier plunges into the line (see line entry 1 sense 7f(2)) for short yardage

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Synonyms & Antonyms for dive

Synonyms: Verb

crash, crater, decline, descend, dip, drop, fall, lower, nose-dive, plummet, plunge, sink, skid, tumble

Synonyms: Noun

descent, dip, down, drop, fall, nosedive, plunge

Antonyms: Verb

arise, ascend, lift, mount, rise, soar, spike, up

Antonyms: Noun

ascent, climb, rise, rising, soaring, upswing, upturn

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Dived vs. Dove: Usage Guide


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 U.S. 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


She dove into the swimming pool. The children like to dive off the boat. The competitors will be diving from the highest platform. Many people enjoy diving on the island's coral reefs. You can't dive in this water without a wet suit. The submarine can dive to 3,000 feet. The whale dove down to deeper water.


She practiced her dives for the competition. This will be my first dive on a coral reef. She has done dives all around the world. The crew of the submarine prepared for a dive. The jet rolled into a dive.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Becoming a science writer seemed to finally give me the chance to dive in and learn what's happening on the cutting edge. Ars Science Staff, Ars Technica, "Here are the subjects our reporters enjoy covering the least," 15 Sep. 2018 Blaze—along with people like Mississippi John Hurt and Lightnin’ Hopkins and Townes—is a hero to Ben, and the opportunity to dive deep inside these songs was really exciting to him. Corey Seymour, Vogue, "Ethan Hawke On Blaze, Outlaw Music, and the Dangers of Living Creatively," 6 Sep. 2018 Others forge ahead, whisking everything together before O’Donnell has a chance to dive in. Anya Van Wagtendonk, Philly.com, "For these immigrants, flipping pancakes and learning English go hand-in-hand," 12 July 2018 Cave-diving experts had warned diving the youngsters out was potentially too risky. Kaweewit Kaewjinda And Stephen Wright, Houston Chronicle, "'Everyone is safe' after daring rescue of 13 in Thai cave," 11 July 2018 Cave-diving experts had warned diving the youngsters out was potentially too risky. Kaweewit Kaewjinda, The Seattle Times, "‘Everyone is safe’ after daring rescue of 13 in Thai cave," 10 July 2018 The character herself is thinly conceived, a cynical but unimaginative facsimile of our idea of the Hollywood starlet, yet Hathaway takes every opportunity to dive into the role, hamming it up underneath the devilish glaze of a raspberry red lip. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Ocean’s 8 isn’t a great movie, but it’s a perfect summer movie.," 6 June 2018 How could children who had never dived before dive now? John Ismay, New York Times, "Why the Thailand Cave Rescue Was So Difficult: A Diver Explains," 10 July 2018 The first key save came from Colombia's Ospina who dove to his left to save Jordan Henderson's shot. Nihal Kolur, SI.com, "Nobody Could Believe England Won A Penalty Shootout at the World Cup," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But investigators are now focusing on reasons for a subsequent abrupt altitude drop, these people said, followed by the fatal dive. I Made Sentana, WSJ, "Last Four Flights of Crashed Lion Air Jet Had Problems With Airspeed Indicator," 5 Nov. 2018 Promise seemed about to be fulfilled when Kieran Trippier curled in a free kick in the fifth minute for his first international goal, above leaping Dejan Lovren and Mandzukic and past the desperate dive of goalkeeper Danijel Subasic. Ronald Blum, The Christian Science Monitor, "Croatia will make its first-ever appearance in World Cup final," 12 July 2018 Tait was in Chamber 3, closest to the entry, where an underground command post was set up, and the children received their first medical attention after the perilous dive from the chamber where they were trapped. George Styllis, latimes.com, "From mission impossible to mission accomplished: Thailand rejoices as last boys rescued from cave," 11 July 2018 The dive is difficult, requiring careful navigation of pitch-black, muddy water through stalactites and around sharp corners. Time, "A Former Thai Navy SEAL Has Died During a Rescue Mission for Soccer Team Trapped in a Cave," 6 July 2018 Giants manager Bruce Bochy brought in left-hander Ty Blach to face the left-handed hitting Spangenberg, who ended up grounding a 1-1 curve below the zone under the dive of first baseman Brandon Belt. Kevin Acee, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Giants get walk-off win against Hand, Padres in 11th inning," 24 June 2018 Coach Keith Euker was glad to see the younger players on the roster dive into the thick of the action. Edward Lee, baltimoresun.com, "Review & preview: McDaniel men’s lacrosse," 14 June 2018 Girls Swimming, Hailey Hernandez, Southlake Carroll: Won the 6A state title in the 1-meter dive. Brian Gosset, star-telegram, "Inaugural Star-Telegram Tomlinson Honors salutes area's best high school athletes," 11 June 2018 Here, Buyle shares his favorite places to go deep, the packing essentials for every trip, and the one dive that’s still on his bucket list. Mara Balagtas, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Greatest Things Freediver Fred Buyle Has Seen Underwater," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dive


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1700, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dive


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


see dive entry 1

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Statistics for dive

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dive

The first known use of dive was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for dive



English Language Learners Definition of dive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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



English Language Learners Definition of dive (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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.


\ˈdīv \
dived or dove\ ˈdōv \; diving

Kids Definition of dive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to plunge into water headfirst

2 : to swim underwater especially while using special equipment

3 : submerge sense 1 The submarine dived.

4 : to fall fast The temperature is diving.

5 : to descend in an airplane at a steep angle

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

Other Words from dive

diver noun



Kids Definition of dive (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of plunging headfirst into water

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

3 : an act of submerging a submarine

4 : a quick drop (as of prices)

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

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