\ 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 & Antonyms for dive

Synonyms: Verb

crash, decline, descend, dip, drop, fall, lower, nose-dive, plummet, plunge, sink, skid, tumble

Synonyms: Noun

descent, dip, down, drop, fall, nosedive, plunge

Antonyms: Verb

arise, ascend, lift, mount, rise, soar, spike, up

Antonyms: Noun

ascent, climb, rise, rising, soaring, upswing, upturn

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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

Authorities are therefore considering other options as well, including teaching the boys to dive out of the cave or draining the cave system. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Elon Musk Would Be 'Happy to Help' Rescue the Thai Boys Stuck in a Cave," 5 July 2018 Goalie Marquez, the lacrosse team's goalie, was a four-year member of the Lady Golden Tornadoes swim team and was willing to dive into the new challenge when her classmates recruited her. Emmett Hall, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Golden Tornadoes squads enjoy inaugural high school lacrosse season," 3 June 2018 Able to dive and swim as well as fly, they could surely be programmed to swarm the Yale graduation. Tad Friend, The New Yorker, "How Frightened Should We Be of A.I.?," 7 May 2018 Excited to dive into some compelling new short stories? Caroline Rogers, Southern Living, "The Best New Books Coming Out Summer 2018," 13 Apr. 2018 The habitat also features 50,000 gallons of water to allow the penguins to swim and numerous rocks to allow the penguins to dive, according to the Oregon Zoo. Kelsey Grey, idahostatesman, "Penguins ‘migrate’ through zoo to their new temporary home," 13 Apr. 2018 One of us is a books-and-headphones beachgoer (Halle), while the other can’t wait to dive into the ocean (Chloe). Chloe And Halle Bailey, Marie Claire, "'Grown-ish' Stars Chloe and Halle Bailey Take You on a Tour of Barcelona," 12 Apr. 2018 Harper is bright and mad and addicted to pills, and gives Gough a chance to dive head-first into another complicated character. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Angels in America is Broadway's Biggest Revival," 12 Apr. 2018 By the end of the day, we were exhausted from diving into the ocean and so ready to dive deeper into our relationship. Becca Kufrin, PEOPLE.com, "Bachelorette Becca Kufrin Explains Her Reaction to Colton Being a Virgin: ' I Needed a Moment'," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

National Championship game projections: Alabama vs. Clemson Pages: 232 Cost: $9.99 The Buzz: Lindy’s takes its usual deep dive into all-things college football with 232 pages full of previews, analysis and statistical breakdowns. Matt Murschel, OrlandoSentinel.com, "A guide to top college football preview magazines," 13 July 2018 Michael's daughter, Christine Ross recorded the sweet moment her dad took his big dive. Kamron Taylor, ajc, "95-year-old Air Force veteran shows little boy how to be brave," 12 July 2018 Michael's daughter, Christine Ross recorded the sweet moment her dad took his big dive. Kamron Taylor, USA TODAY, "95-year-old Air Force veteran shows little boy how to be brave," 11 July 2018 Lloris’s save at 0-0, in particular, was a turning point in the match, much like his full-stretch dive when France had a 1-0 lead against Uruguay in the quarterfinals. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "France Advances to the World Cup Final," 10 July 2018 Officials have said storms forecast for Chiang Rai province in Thailand's far north had factored into their decision to go ahead with a complicated and dangerous plan to have the boys and their coach dive out of the cave. Edmund Demarche, Fox News, "4 freed from Thailand cave, but rescuers face 'war with water and time' to get to others," 9 July 2018 When Holiday ran the pick-and-roll with Leaf up top, Leaf expected contact or a contest on his dive to the rim that never came. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Evaluating 4 key performances for Pacers in Las Vegas summer league opening loss," 6 July 2018 Two American divers later dove into the cave and emerged with Mr. Badillo in tow, 36 hours after his initial dive. Mike Ives, New York Times, "5 Cave Rescues That Worked: Thailand Can Find Hope in Past Success," 3 July 2018 His dive just about saved a goal as the ball nearly went in but his efforts denied the Polish star. Luis Miguel Echegaray, SI.com, "WATCH: Japan Loses to Poland, Still Through in World Cup on Fair Play Tiebreaker," 28 June 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

18 Sep 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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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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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