\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 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

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton dives for a first down on fourth-and-1 against the Atlanta Falcons. Michael Salfino, WSJ, "The Sneakiest Play in Football Is the Most Effective," 9 Oct. 2018 After spending a few hours making out all over their catamaran, Becca and Colton are introduced to a local fisherman who teaches them how to dive for conchs. Aurelie Corinthios, PEOPLE.com, "'Deal Breaker'? One of Becca Kufrin's Bachelorette Frontrunners Reveals He's a Virgin," 9 July 2018 Pollock, out since May 15 after fracturing his left thumb while diving for a ball, took batting practice against coaches Tuesday and reportedly felt good afterward. Harvey Fialkov, azcentral, "Diamondbacks' Robbie Ray 'in really good shape,' ready for start vs. Marlins," 26 June 2018 Former fishermen dive for nets and pull them onto shore. National Geographic, "These Communities Turn Discarded Fishing Nets Into Carpets," 13 June 2018 Esparza dives in for a takedown but doesn’t get it. Todd Martin, latimes.com, "Claudia Gadelha vs. Carla Esparza live round-by-round coverage," 10 June 2018 The gunfire that sent the officers diving for cover is linked to a series of shootings in the city's Hough neighborhood that included nine houses that were shot up in early May, including one where a 10-year-old boy was critically injured. Adam Ferrise, cleveland.com, "Duo accused of firing at Cleveland police linked to series of shootings that injured boy, 10," 14 May 2018 As the ball bounded to the fence, Rutschman shifted into high gear, flicked his helmet off rounding second and swan-dived across the plate for an inside-the-park home run and an 8-7 victory. Ron Richmond For The Oregonian/oregonlive, OregonLive.com, "Adley Rutschman lifts Oregon State baseball to another extra-innings win over Nevada," 3 Apr. 2018 Up one with under 30 seconds to play, Queens’ Ike Agusi drove the lane and looked to have an easy layup, but Northern’s Logan Doyle got the block and was fouled when a scrum of players dove for the ball. Tom Savage, charlotteobserver, "Queens was on the brink of an NCAA title game. Then, the Royals’ hopes caved in. | Charlotte Observer," 23 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The peregrine falcon dive can go up to 320 kilometers [198 miles] an hour. National Geographic, "The Biggest Bird That Ever Lived and 5 More Bird Superstars," 15 May 2018 The final result, shown to audiences on Wednesday night, doesn’t just stop at the insanely risky nature of the dive. EW.com, "Tom Cruise details death-defying Mission Impossible: Fallout stunt at CinemaCon," 27 Apr. 2018 In theaters Drew Michael: Comedian Drew Michael does a deep, funny dive on his love life in this new stand-up special. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "8 New TV Shows and Movies to Queue Up This Week," 19 Aug. 2018 The way out is a difficult dive with many narrow passages through muddy water. Dan Gartland, SI.com, "FIFA President Gianni Infantino Invites Trapped Thai Soccer to World Cup Final," 6 July 2018 Nice green and gold wetsuit, too, but next time maybe dive in there with your offensive linemen, too? Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers swims with a shark for Discovery Channel's Shark Week," 29 June 2018 The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will conduct the dive with a robotic submersible craft to be launched from the research vessel Okeanos Explorer, aquarium officials said in a release. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "Mysterious shipwreck lies off Hatteras. Watch live as it's explored for the first time.," 11 June 2018 Trips include two or three dives with stops at the underwater museum (850-586-0807, www.fishybooty.com). Kari Bodnarchuk, BostonGlobe.com, "Here, there, and everywhere," 6 June 2018 That's what happened two months ago when U.S. stock markets took a dive, with the Dow Jones in early February plummeting by more points in a single day than ever before. Audrey Dutton, idahostatesman, "Eagle couple accuses Boise investment adviser of gambling away their retirement | Idaho Statesman," 24 Apr. 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

11 Dec 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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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).


a nest or breeding place

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