\ 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 divea 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 Roster management has been a point of emphasis this fall as concerns over positive COVID-19 tests have already forced some teams to dive deep into their depth chart. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, "UCF happy to focus on football after atypical offseason," 14 Sep. 2020 But what happens when a sport is asked to step out of its comfort zone and proactively dive into a taboo subject? Phil Thompson, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Time for the NHL to step out of its racial bubble before they risking losing a generation (or two) of fans," 29 Aug. 2020 As most fellow miners are plenty busy with their own efforts, there's no reason not to dive right in. Peter Reese, Popular Mechanics, "How to Become an Amateur Gold Miner," 27 Aug. 2020 With the aforementioned inferno-like conditions, what better example to dive into than Alaska’s Kenai Fjords? Sunset Magazine, "Beat the Heat with This Immersive Virtual Tour of Kenai Fjords National Park," 24 Aug. 2020 Take a deep breath and dive into the lyric video for the beautiful track here. Gab Ginsberg, Billboard, "The 13 Best Things That Happened in Music This Week (August 21)," 21 Aug. 2020 This drill really fires up prey drive, teaches the dog to dive under water after a duck as well as persist in the chase even when the duck disappears. Joe Genzel, Outdoor Life, "8 Drills to Do Right Now to Get Your Gun Dog Ready for Fall," 17 Aug. 2020 The already struggling Regis faced a spring where most of its salons were forced to close to stem the spread of COVID-19, causing revenue to dive 76% during April, May and June and a $73.6 million loss. Patrick Kennedy, Star Tribune, "Regis salons struggling; customers not returning to pre-COVID routines," 31 Aug. 2020 Whether or not the Hulu series — being produced by Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos — will dive into that is still unknown. Rosy Cordero, EW.com, "Mexican Gothic author Silvia Moreno-Garcia shares what fans can expect from Hulu limited series," 24 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Gary Jeffrey from Denver and Michael Obrochta from Chicago have been friends since childhood and travel every few months together to scuba dive. Jenny Hart, Travel + Leisure, "I Traveled to Cabo Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic — Here's What It Was Really Like," 16 Sep. 2020 In our continuing series about personal finance during the pandemic, here's a deep dive into Roth IRAs. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Staying Apart, Together: Dog cousins, new TV and the great outdoors to get you through the week," 15 Sep. 2020 The Secura writeup gives a deep dive on the cause of the vulnerability and the five-step approach to exploiting it. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "New Windows exploit lets you instantly become admin. Have you patched?," 14 Sep. 2020 But for Arizona boys high school swim and dive, the same question is on everyone’s mind. Joshua Iversen, The Arizona Republic, "Here's a look at boys high school swim and dive teams to watch this fall," 12 Sep. 2020 This does not happen if the Padres avoided the deep dive at the perfect time in the international market that left the farm system bulging before rules changed and the leash tightened. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Padres send trade deadline message to Dodgers, MLB: We’re not going away," 31 Aug. 2020 This high growth rate would mostly reflect, however, a partial bounceback from the catastrophic dive the economy took in the second quarter because of the pandemic. Nihal Krishan, Washington Examiner, "Tens of millions were already struggling with food and rent before relief expired," 27 Aug. 2020 Debt’s deep dive into the whole history of civilization had a paradigm-shifting political point. Matthew Zeitlin, The New Republic, "How David Graeber Changed the Way We See Money," 4 Sep. 2020 Like the original Johnny White’s, the Sports Bar felt like a neighborhood dive in the heart of a tourist district. Keith Spera, NOLA.com, "Original Johnny White's Bar on St. Peter St., like Bourbon St. offshoots, has closed permanently," 4 Sep. 2020

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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Statistics for dive

Last Updated

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dive. Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for dive


How to pronounce dive (audio)

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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Comments on dive

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