\ 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 South got individual wins from Summer Cheng in the 100 butterfly and Aubrey Cheng in the 50 free, and Chugiak’s Gabe Dobson took the boys diving title. Anchorage Daily News, "Lynx sink the competition for their 10th straight sweep of team titles at CIC swim championships," 3 Nov. 2019 Century keeper Jordyn Vanarsdale dives to get her fingers on the ball, deflecting it wide of the goal, securing a 1-0 lead over Eastern Tech, during a state quarterfinal girls soccer game at Western Regional Park on Saturday, November 2. Megan Woodward, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Girls Soccer: Century edges Eastern Tech, advances to 2A state semifinals," 2 Nov. 2019 Business leaders should dive in to help reshape skill development, lifelong learning, portable benefits, and transition assistance. Aron Cramer, Quartz at Work, "Capitalism is not working. Here’s how business leaders can fix it," 25 Oct. 2019 With the Rockies lackluster season (71-91) let’s dive in and take a look at the 10 most unique states from the 2019 campaign. Jeff Bailey, The Denver Post, "Denver Sports Omelette: Colorado Rockies season in review 2019," 23 Oct. 2019 To kids immersed in video games, the thrill of taking part in the action is a given, whether sky-diving out of a flying bus in Fortnite or building a new world in Minecraft. Jane C. Hu, Smithsonian, "Is the Future of Entertainment the 40-Years-Old ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Series?," 20 Sep. 2019 One shark diving company located about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from False Bay reported some sightings. Annaliese Griffin, Quartzy, "Are great white sharks messing with us?," 1 Sep. 2019 In the third, Chad Pinder’s diving catch in right robbed Josh Reddick of extra bases. Susan Slusser, SFChronicle.com, "A’s hit back hard in 21-7 rout at Houston," 10 Sep. 2019 In addition to the names that emerged earlier this week of a family of five from Stockton, two high school students and the owner of a Santa Cruz diving company, those of several more victims were confirmed Wednesday. Erin Woo, The Mercury News, "South Bay father and daughter who bonded over diving trips among the 34 killed in California boat fire," 4 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This is Levine's cuisine, but she's taken a headfirst dive into her source material. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "Century Grand isn't just Arcadia's ambitious new cocktail bar. It's a great restaurant too," 30 Oct. 2019 There will be deep dives into eye-candy projects, like an Oct. 21 chat with Douglas and Saadia Naiman, who opened the design-forward Aviano Coffee shops in Cherry Creek. Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Know, "Can good design solve all of Denver’s problems?," 19 Oct. 2019 But take a deep dive into the numbers computed by the math wizards at FiveThirtyEight.com, and there’s still a 90 percent chance this two-game winning streak will not be enough to propel Denver to the playoffs. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Kiszla vs. O’Halloran: What’s the game plan for Broncos to upset reeling Kansas City?," 14 Oct. 2019 By no means, an easy watch, The Politician is truly a binge-worthy deep-dive into the mess that occurs when privilege and ambition mix with insincerity. Liz Coulbourn, Teen Vogue, "Best Shows of Fall 2019," 24 Sep. 2019 My favorite was a live-aboard dive boat in the Cayman Islands. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, "Rainy fall weather got you daydreaming about travel? Here are some fun itineraries to consider," 21 Sep. 2019 The investigation into the Sept. 2 fire aboard the dive boat has yet to shed light on what ignited the fire that killed 34 people trapped below deck in the middle of the night. Washington Post, "California’s dive boat, Ghost Ship fires share legal lessons," 20 Sep. 2019 Case in point, this dramatic deep dive into the history of Puerto Rico, which became a U.S. territory in 1898. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Under Fire for Brownface Photo: raceAhead," 19 Sep. 2019 His 22nd book, The Vagabonds: The Story of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison's Ten-Year Road Trip, takes a deep dive into the lives of a pair of men who made invaluable contributions to American life. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "Before the Kardashians, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford made road trips the engines of their celebrity," 8 Aug. 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.

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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

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

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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

13 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Dive.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dived. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on dive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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