plumb

noun
\ ˈpləm How to pronounce plumb (audio) \

Definition of plumb

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: a lead weight attached to a line and used to indicate a vertical direction
out of plumb or off plumb
: out of vertical or true

plumb

adverb

Definition of plumb (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : straight down or up : vertically
2 chiefly dialectal : to a complete degree : absolutely 'you're plumb crazy', she remarked, with easy candorHarper's Weekly
3 : in a direct manner : exactly also : without interval of time : immediately

plumb

verb
plumbed; plumbing; plumbs

Definition of plumb (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to weight with lead
2a : to measure the depth of with a plumb
b : to examine minutely and critically plumbing the book's complexities
3 : to adjust or test by a plumb line
4 : to seal with lead
5 [back-formation from plumber] : to supply with or install as plumbing

intransitive verb

: to work as a plumber

plumb

adjective

Definition of plumb (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : exactly vertical or true

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Choose the Right Synonym for plumb

Adjective

vertical, perpendicular, plumb mean being at right angles to a base line. vertical suggests a line or direction rising straight upward toward a zenith. the side of the cliff is almost vertical perpendicular may stress the straightness of a line making a right angle with any other line, not necessarily a horizontal one. the parallel bars are perpendicular to the support posts plumb stresses an exact verticality determined (as with a plumb line) by earth's gravity. make sure that the wall is plumb

Examples of plumb in a Sentence

Adverb He set the board plumb. I plumb forgot about the party. Verb The book plumbs the complexities of human relationships. a scientist who spent her life plumbing the minds of criminals The play plumbs the depths of human nature. The plumber is almost finished plumbing the apartment. The new house has been wired and plumbed. All the bathroom fixtures have been plumbed. Adjective The carpenter made sure that the wall was plumb. a horror movie that's plumb trash and further evidence of the deterioration of popular culture
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That doesn’t mean an end to Shipt’s distinctive green - but the introduction of secondary colors such as plumb, yellow and teal. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, "Shipt unveils new logo, ad campaign coming," 6 Feb. 2020 The Gallery of Kings—the line of statues above the three massive doorways—was almost a foot (.3 meters) out of plumb. Andrew Tallon, National Geographic, "Historian uses lasers to unlock mysteries of Gothic cathedrals," 16 Apr. 2019 In the olden days, woodworkers needed a range of measuring tools, plumbs and levels. Alexandra Samuel, WSJ, "Learning a New Hobby Has Never Been Easier," 14 Dec. 2018 The toppling tower inclined slowly to about fifteen feet out of plumb. sandiegouniontribune.com, "Train tower toppled," 19 Mar. 2018 Hold each post plumb and drive nails through the anchors into the wood. Rick Peters, Popular Mechanics, "How to Build a Pergola Right in Your Backyard," 1 May 2016 Thankfully the technology used today has advanced beyond dangling plumb lines over the side of the ship. Kyle Frischkorn, Smithsonian, "Why The First Complete Map of the Ocean Floor Is Stirring Controversial Waters," 13 July 2017 In other cases, the off-plumb spaces were turned into a narrow alley so that the rest of the parcel would have 90-degree corners. Richard Campanella, NOLA.com, "New Orleans 'Fort-prints': Odd angled properties are relics of city's fortified past," 10 May 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And yet Ben Wheatley’s superficial, slapdash new Netflix adaptation fails to plumb these possible new depths. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "All the Wrong Reasons to Remake “Rebecca”," 24 Oct. 2020 This year, Beijing has pulled out all the stops, as relations with the US plumb new depths amid the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and increasingly aggressive rhetoric from US President Donald Trump. James Griffiths, CNN, "As rivalry with Washington heats up, Beijing commemorates 'victory' in 'war to resist US aggression'," 22 Oct. 2020 Eventually, that data will help researchers plumb the depths of medieval microbiomes to understand how the microscopic populations of our intestines have evolved over the centuries. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists delved into medieval cesspits to study old gut microbiomes," 6 Oct. 2020 That is why ships employ sonar rather than radar to plumb the briny depths. The Economist, "How to send underwater messages without batteries," 17 Oct. 2020 There is more to ponder, in this uncommon movie, than there is to plumb. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“Martin Eden” Lurches with Salty, Oceanic Appetites," 16 Oct. 2020 Scientists should plumb the psychiatric dynamics of global-warming fanatics rather than push groupthink theories that are obviously bogus. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Mass MoCA, the World’s Biggest Contemporary Art Museum, Looks Fantastic," 23 Sep. 2020 Minnesota can’t plumb its way out of climate change, some environmentalists note. Jennifer Bjorhus, Star Tribune, "With climate change, Minnesotans fight for homes and cabins on a runaway lake," 19 Sep. 2020 By game’s end, the Dolphins defensive line was plumb worn out. Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, "Hyde10: Ten thoughts on Dolphins getting outmuscled in 21-11 loss to Patriots," 13 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Backfill with six inches of dirt, check that the post is plumb, and tamp down the dirt. Ryan D'agostino, Popular Mechanics, "How To Build a Picket Fence," 24 Oct. 2020 Silence meant the house was plumb, solid, its organs working in happy harmony. Washington Post, "Rumaan Alam’s ‘Leave the World Behind’ is a brilliant, suspenseful examination of race and class," 5 Oct. 2020 But this artificial format can’t quite plumb that depth. Washington Post, "Relief from Zoom sometimes comes in a box. A play in a box.," 25 Sep. 2020 Whedon also introduced its snarky, resourceful, green-haired director Abigail Brand, a plumb role for any actress not already in the MCU's orbit. Scott Huver, CNN, "'Spider-Man' end credits suggest a cosmic Marvel future really far from home," 3 July 2019 In the still air, the rope swing on a nearby maple branch hung straight down, following the plumb line of gravity’s pull. Barbara Damrosch, The Denver Post, "Trellises and other supports that blend into the garden — and sometimes shine," 5 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plumb.' 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 plumb

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Adverb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for plumb

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French plum, plomb, from Latin plumbum lead

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Time Traveler for plumb

Time Traveler

The first known use of plumb was in the 14th century

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Statistics for plumb

Cite this Entry

“Plumb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plumb. Accessed 23 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for plumb

plumb

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of plumb

 (Entry 1 of 3)

technical : exactly straight down or up : in a perfectly vertical position
US, informal + old-fashioned : to a complete degree

plumb

verb

English Language Learners Definition of plumb (Entry 2 of 3)

literary : to examine (something) in a careful and complete way in order to understand it
: to experience or reach (something)
: to install pipes for sinks, toilets, etc., in (a building or room)

plumb

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of plumb (Entry 3 of 3)

technical : exactly vertical : standing perfectly straight and not leaning in any way

plumb

noun
\ ˈpləm How to pronounce plumb (audio) \

Kids Definition of plumb

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a small weight attached to a line and used to show depth or a straight vertical line

plumb

verb
plumbed; plumbing

Kids Definition of plumb (Entry 2 of 3)

: to measure or test with a plumb They plumbed the depth of a well.

plumb

adverb

Kids Definition of plumb (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : exactly straight up and down
2 : completely I plumb forgot.

More from Merriam-Webster on plumb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plumb

Nglish: Translation of plumb for Spanish Speakers

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