\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for dive

Synonyms: Verb

pitch, plunge, sound

Synonyms: Noun

pitch, plunge

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The other boys yelled for help, and bystanders from the beach and nearby boats began diving to search for Beck. Forum News Service, Twin Cities, "Teen dies after going underwater while swimming in northeastern Minnesota lake," 5 July 2019 Dickerson ended the fifth inning by diving in the left-center gap to rob Renfroe of extra bases, and Donovan Solano, who has earned more starts with his play of late, deftly gloved Ian Kinsler’s sharp one-hopper to start the ninth inning. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "Giants power their way to fourth straight win, first three-game sweep of 2019," 4 July 2019 Teen Glow Night is July 12, and dive-in movies are on Aug. 16 and Sept. 14. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Summer in Arizona: Locals share 100 fun ways to survive the 100-degree heat in Phoenix," 1 July 2019 The group will start diving into the next year’s Indy 500 in the summer months. Tyler Kraft, Indianapolis Star, "Doug Boles' race is just beginning when the Indy 500 ends," 1 July 2019 The only path left was to dive the boys and their coach out. National Geographic, "The untold story of the daring cave divers who saved the Thai soccer team," 4 Mar. 2019 There were several concerns that prompted authorities to move forward with the plan to dive the boys out. Kaweewit Kaewjinda And Stephen Wright, chicagotribune.com, "Rescue of remaining 4 boys, coach from flooded Thai cave could take two operations," 9 July 2018 Force Blue Force Blue takes veterans who were trained by the military to dive and uses this expertise in service of the seas. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "US special forces veterans are deploying to save coral reefs," 8 June 2019 Instead of trying to dive deep into activities that were now difficult for him, Solis tweaked his habits incrementally, using quick fixes to cultivate the strength for serious change. Ephrat Livni, Quartzy, "A book on focus, designed for the distracted, promises to spark your creativity," 2 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Ramsland started diving at age 7 and dives during the winter months at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. Randy Mcroberts, baltimoresun.com, "Aberdeen dive team beats Crofton for second win," 8 July 2019 For Houston, which was an original member of C-USA in 1996 before moving to the American Athletic Conference in 2013, former quarterback Case Keenum, women's basketball player Chandi Jones and former dive Yulia Pakhalina were selected. Houston Chronicle, "Three each from Rice and UH named to C-USA's first Hall of Fame," 8 July 2019 Never fear—check out our iPhone buying guide and favorite Android phones 📩 Hungry for even more deep dives on your next favorite topic? Lauren Goode, WIRED, "What to Look Forward to in MacOS Catalina," 6 July 2019 For in-depth looks at lyrics, @doolsetbangtan and @doyou_bangtan offer heavily contextualized, almost academic deep dives. New York Times, "As BTS’s Reach Expands, an Army of Dedicated K-Pop Translators Grows," 4 July 2019 San Francisco is the wall against which the chef has thrown countless spaghetti noodles, from a delivery-only bistro to deep dives into regional Italian cooking. Soleil Ho, SFChronicle.com, "The Mission’s Prairie switches gears, but is it better?," 3 July 2019 Celebrating its 90th birthday this year, the Biltmore has eight swimming pools, seven tennis courts, a full-service spa and multiple dining venues and offers an array of summer activities, ranging from dive-in movies to Happy Hour History Tours. Alison Darosa, San Diego Union-Tribune, "July travel deals for Universal Studios, Disney World, Waikiki Beach," 3 July 2019 In recent months, her channel has favored deep dives into gender theory, complemented by acidic humor. Shaan Amin, The New Republic, "Can the Left Win YouTube?," 2 July 2019 The resort also boasts a salon, dive-in movies and a gift shop. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Pop-up Taco Bell hotel in Palm Springs sells out in 2 minutes," 1 July 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!