\ 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

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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

Thirty-four people died when a fire broke out on a boat chartered for a scuba-diving excursion off the coast of Los Angeles. The Economist, "Politics this week," 5 Sep. 2019 Michigan State was 4-2 heading into the first game following the injury, but the offense nose-dived the second half of the season, scoring seven or fewer points on four occasions and totaling 32 in the final four games. SI.com, "Tulsa vs. Michigan State Live Stream: How to Watch Online, TV Channel, Game Time," 30 Aug. 2019 This year’s event also included a canine dock-diving event, and many other different types of entertainment, including bands, a demolition derby, and a truck pull. Melanie Savage, courant.com, "Lions Host 60th Annual Lebanon Country Fair," 23 Aug. 2019 Profit plunge In April-June, Nissan's profit nose-dived to 6.4 billion yen ($59 million), down drastically from 115.8 billion yen the same quarter in the previous fiscal year. CBS News, "Nissan to cut 12,500 jobs as its profit plunges," 25 July 2019 In April-June, Nissan's profit nose-dived to 6.4 billion yen ($59 million), down drastically from 115.8 billion yen the same quarter in the previous fiscal year. Yuri Kageyama, Detroit Free Press, "Nissan to slash 12,500 jobs to cut costs aiming for turnaround amid tumbling profits," 25 July 2019 In April-June, Nissan’s profit nose-dived to 6.4 billion yen ($59 million), down drastically from 115.8 billion yen the same quarter in the previous fiscal year. Yuri Kageyama, USA TODAY, "Nissan to slash 12,500 jobs to cut costs, achieve turnaround," 25 July 2019 Investigators today are on the scene of an fatal sky-diving accident at Longmont’s Vance Brand Municipal Airport, the fourth death stemming from jumps there in less than a year. Charlie Brennan, The Denver Post, "Another skydiver’s death under investigation at Longmont airport," 29 June 2019 The flight was operated by the Oahu Parachute Center sky-diving company. Andrew Selsky, BostonGlobe.com, "Hawaii crash claims 9 men, 2 women, most in their late 20s," 23 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Beyond propelling Tortorella’s activism in the LGBTQ community, Space Between is also a deep dive into Tortorella and Meyers’ romance. Sam Gillette, PEOPLE.com, "Actor Nico Tortorella Reveals Spouse Bethany Had an Abortion: 'We Were Family, Forever'," 17 Sep. 2019 GoodSkin incorporates Vector Imaging, a cutting-edge 3D imaging system that allows patients to experience a deep dive into sun damage and aging. Elycia Rubin, The Hollywood Reporter, "Hollywood Skin Experts Advise How To Repair Sun Damage After Summer Break," 15 Sep. 2019 Our first podcast of the 2019 season features a deep dive into the football schedule. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Hotline newsletter: Heat Index 2.0, TV exposure galore in Week Three, crafting the football schedule and more," 14 Sep. 2019 Senior Andre Parker caps off his run with a dive into the end zone from five-yards out. Kyle Kelly | Special To Cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "Lutheran East carries 8-3 lead over Lutheran West as weather-suspended game resumes Saturday at 3 p.m.," 13 Sep. 2019 The Vexations, a fictional dive into the early life of the French composer Erik Satie, riffs on this form. Lily Meyer, The Atlantic, "Rewriting the ‘Boy Genius’," 1 Sep. 2019 Pinson Valley added the final score of the game early in the final quarter on Sharp’s second score of the night, a 2-yard dive into the endzone. Evan Dudley, al, "Pinson Valley bounces back, beats Ramsay," 30 Aug. 2019 The trailer teases a madcap dive into the world's financial underbelly. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "In The Laundromat, Meryl Streep Uncovers Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas's Dirty Dealings," 29 Aug. 2019 The haunted houses will open at 7 p.m. For those who crave a deeper dive into the terrifying technicalities of putting on such a macabre attraction, four behind-the-scenes tours are planned every hour starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10. Kari Barnett, sun-sentinel.com, "Fright Nights scares up more screams with expanded schedule," 23 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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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.

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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

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