\ ˈdīv How to pronounce dive (audio) \
dived\ ˈdīvd How to pronounce dived (audio) \ or dove\ ˈdōv How to pronounce dove (audio) \; 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 for dive

Synonyms: Verb

pitch, plunge, sound

Synonyms: Noun

pitch, plunge

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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

Subs can dive and surface, and fire torpedoes from stealth. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "World of Warships dives deep for new players, adding submarines to popular naval combat game," 18 Sep. 2018 Or dive south through the Rio Grande and San Juan National Forests and stop for a hike or two. Jessica Migala, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Dog-Friendly Road Trips in the U.S.," 26 July 2018 Bold and ambitious, Aries dives headfirst into even the most challenging situations. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "Each Zodiac Sign's Unique Personality Traits, Explained by an Astrologer," 28 Oct. 2018 Although there were very few details given about Linda's passing—the nurse died in a helicopter crash while airlifting a patient—this season might dive deeper into the tragic demise of Danny Reagan's (Donnie Wahlberg) wife. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'Blue Bloods' Hints That Linda's Death May Not Have Been an Accident," 5 Oct. 2018 The study also dives deeper into how different groups of teens feel differently about social media. Rani Molla, Recode, "Teens are hooked on social media. But how does it make them feel about themselves?," 11 Sep. 2018 After escaping the Quantum Realm, Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) has dived right back into her scientific endeavors with Hank and Hope. Tracy Brown, latimes.com, "'Ant-Man and the Wasp' piques your interest long after the credits roll," 8 July 2018 In the meantime, rescue divers are teaching the boys how to swim and dive in order to aid in their own exfiltration. Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY, "Twitter tears into Diplo over tasteless tweet about trapped Thai soccer team," 5 July 2018 The Swedish singer/songwriter dives back into the explosive track from her debut LP, In Bloom, for a live in-studio video premiering exclusively through Billboard today (June 7). Abby Jones, Billboard, "GRANT Gives a Cinematic Behind-the-Scenes Peek With Live 'Catcher In the Rye' Video: Premiere," 7 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The goalkeeper was ostracised from Pep Guardiola's Manchester City side when the Spaniard arrived two years ago, and his career has taken a nose dive since then. SI.com, "Ostracised Goalkeeper Joe Hart Changes Agents in Hopes of Resurrecting His Career," 29 May 2018 Though this summer is not expected to break 2013's high-water mark of $4.8 billion, the lineup of likely hits has cinema chains salivating after their stocks took a dive last year. Ryan Faughnder, latimes.com, "Hollywood hopes for a rebound with a slew of summer blockbusters — including 'Solo: A Star Wars Story'," 22 May 2018 Others, like pitcher Eddie Cicotte and Chick Gandil (allegedly the on-field mastermind) took a noticeable dive. Chris Chase, For The Win, "11 biggest scandals in sports gambling history," 16 May 2018 At the same time, the price of taxi medallions — which peaked at a record $1.3 million in 2014, when Uber was still ramping up — took a steep dive. Jessica Pressler, Daily Intelligencer, "The Tragic End to a Longtime Black-Car Driver’s Campaign Against Uber," 15 May 2018 He's also got a freezer full of fish he's caught on dives and deer he's hunted on the island to last them through the storm. Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, Fox News, "Hurricane Lane unleashes rain as it shifts closer to Hawaii," 24 Aug. 2018 Yet none scored, the Orioles left in disbelief and still trailing 3-2 after Chris Davis went the other way against the shift but still saw Maikel Franco corral it on a dive and retire him at first base. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles have their chances, but fail to capitalize in 3-2 loss to Phillies," 4 July 2018 Twelfth-grader Gabe Burrill obtained eighth-place team points for Ramona with 137.70 points on six dives. Joe Naiman, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Webster, 200 freestyle relay team win Valley League swim titles," 6 May 2018 The evening honored Edith Widder, an expert on bioluminescence who joined billionaire hedge-fund founder Ray Dalio on a dive to the bottom of the ocean. Amanda L Gordon, Bloomberg.com, "Bezos Says He’ll Spend ‘Amazon Lottery Winnings’ on Space Travel," 12 Mar. 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

Verb and Noun

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

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Statistics for dive

Last Updated

6 Mar 2019

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 How to pronounce dive (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on dive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dive

Spanish Central: Translation of dive

Nglish: Translation of dive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dive for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dive

Comments on dive

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


of or relating to a parable or parabola

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