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

Synonyms: Noun

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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

Verb 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. Noun 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 The inspiration that Hasan drew from that wintry night in Connecticut still shapes his conviction that African American Muslims must dive into the politics that shape their lives. Los Angeles Times, 17 Sep. 2021 Raz has the ability to dive into the minds of people and explore the mental constructs that shape their worldview. Washington Post, 15 Sep. 2021 Ease their worries in one of the initial slides with a clear explanation of the benefits of your idea and then dive into your vision. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 15 Sep. 2021 The company is using the purchase as a way to dive boldly into the NFT market and learn how to leverage NFTs and better understand the growing infrastructure around them. Nicole Gull Mcelroy, Fortune, 13 Sep. 2021 Who’d have conceived of an inferno so monstrous that people would dive a hundred stories to gruesome death rather than submit to it? Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, 11 Sep. 2021 The plot: Again, unknown, but expect the show to dive deeper into the themes of season one. Christopher Ros, Glamour, 9 Sep. 2021 While Love Has Won’s website copy tends to be more measured, the apparently unscripted livestreams dive deep into the conspiracy world. Virginia Pelley, Marie Claire, 7 Sep. 2021 The coach described the first-half water break as the turning point, allowing the team to regroup and dive into its attack. Julia Poe, orlandosentinel.com, 6 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Bill Connelly does a deep dive (subscription required) into Wisconsin's prospects, pointing out that injuries, a new quarterback and COVID setbacks made 2020 a very difficult evaluation period for the Badgers. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 30 Aug. 2021 IndyStar Colts Insiders Joel A. Erickson and Jim Ayello dive into Carson Wentz’s return to practice and what that means for the backup quarterback competition, as well as the Colts’ tradeable assets, cheating on Madden and why the wave stinks. Clark Wade, The Indianapolis Star, 24 Aug. 2021 Superhero films don’t normally begin with a love story, let alone a lush, fairy-tale-like dive into its antagonist’s life. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 23 Aug. 2021 Dolan now manages a police department of 100 employees, which includes mounted, marine patrol, dive, drone, detective bureau, and K-9 units. cleveland, 10 Aug. 2021 Skydiving feels remarkably like jumping off a high dive, only a beat or two longer, and somehow wider. Jacqueline Detwiler-george, Popular Mechanics, 4 Aug. 2021 This sensitive, dauntless, cinematic deep dive promises insight and inspiration. Laura Manske, Forbes, 4 June 2021 Here’s a deeper dive into the main topics addressed. Dominique Yates, The Courier-Journal, 20 May 2021 For his latest deep dive into modern White House history, Woodward has joined forces with fellow Washington Post reporter Robert Costa. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, 16 Aug. 2021

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


derivative of dive entry 1

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Time Traveler for dive

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near dive




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Statistics for dive

Last Updated

20 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dive. Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on dive

Nglish: Translation of dive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dive for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dive


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