\ 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 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 Try this five-minute routine first, then dive in below. Amy Eisinger, M.a., SELF, "4-Move Cardio Endurance Workout Routine," 30 Dec. 2020 Spending time alone gave me the opportunity to reflect and dive into my mind. Going Out Guide Staff, Washington Post, "Where we found joy in 2020, and where we’ll look for it in 2021," 30 Dec. 2020 Use your enhanced intuitive abilities that are present under the Full Moon to dive deep into the nature of your behavior and actions as of late. Tarot Astrologers, chicagotribune.com, "Daily horoscope for December 29, 2020," 29 Dec. 2020 But until humanity sends a new mission to Venus to dive through the atmosphere or fly close to the cloud tops, the presence of lightning will likely remain an open question, Byrne says. Robin George Andrews, Science, "Does lightning strike on Venus? Mysterious flash may help solve puzzle.," 28 Dec. 2020 The President hadn’t gathered with supporters since March, and was eager to dive back into the pool of adulation. Lawrence Wright, The New Yorker, "The Plague Year," 28 Dec. 2020 Instead, grandparents concerned about the risks of Covid-19 are often forced to make a choice: Isolate from the younger generation entirely, or dive in, becoming full-time caregivers bubbled with extended family. Rachel Feintzeig, WSJ, "The Grandparents Who Dropped Everything to Help Out During Covid," 28 Dec. 2020 Three hours before the sun rises Sunday, 16-year-old Carolina Prieto of New Orleans will pull down her pink swim goggles and dive into the Caribbean Sea for the first leg of a 20-mile relay swim with her parents. Katy Reckdahl, NOLA.com, "It's not the 20-mile swim that worries this New Orleans teen; it's the jellyfish," 26 Dec. 2020 While most birds have hollow bones, most penguin bones are solid like human bones, enabling them to dive and swim instead. jsonline.com, "11 animal personalities you have to meet at the Milwaukee County Zoo," 23 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The optics took another dive with Pride’s death, as fans vividly remembered him, four weeks earlier, accepting his Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award with an emotional speech and performing onstage with Jimmie Allen. Washington Post, "Country music’s pandemic year: Frustration, backlash and a sad ending," 28 Dec. 2020 Andrew Joseph took a deep dive into what the next year of the pandemic could look like, and the possible turning points that could steer the pandemic in a different direction. Shraddha Chakradhar, STAT, "Charting the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, through STAT headlines," 24 Dec. 2020 My Tribune colleagues took a deep dive to get a better understanding of the fear, or at least hesitancy, over getting a vaccine in some predominantly Black and Latino communities that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Lisa Donovan, chicagotribune.com, "The Spin: ‘Hollywood’ Hendon talks about music video ‘Rona Money’ | Ken Griffin backs GOP Sen. Loeffler in Georgia runoff | Lightfoot enlists former judge in Anjanette Young case," 22 Dec. 2020 To more fully understand the basics of itch and help disentangle it from pain, LaMotte and colleagues took a deep dive into the subtleties of the scratching behavior of mice. Katherine Harmon Courage, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Search for What Causes Chronic Itching," 10 Nov. 2020 A few weeks ago, the Free Press took a deep dive into the state's regions, their voting trends and their importance in electing statewide candidates. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "Here's how Biden beat Trump in Michigan — and it wasn't corruption," 6 Nov. 2020 Late in the day, the stock market took a dive when Mr. Trump abruptly called off talks for a congressional coronavirus relief bill after the Fed chair, Jerome H. Powell, said such a stimulus was badly needed. Maggie Haberman, New York Times, "Trump’s Return Leaves White House in Disarray as Infections Jolt West Wing," 6 Oct. 2020 Revenue from state oil and gas severance, property, and sales taxes took a dive, setting the table for a painful cost-cutting legislative session in 2021. Popular Science, "The pandemic could end Texas’s oil boom—and start something better," 5 Oct. 2020 One institution offered a deep dive into a set of ancient stocks that had been unearthed near the local police station, giving a glimpse of how justice was executed hundreds of years ago. Paul Eisenberg, chicagotribune.com, "Landmarks: The pandemic has ushered in an age of virtual everything, making it an excellent time to go exploring," 20 Dec. 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

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dive. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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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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