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

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

After all, if any showbiz satire on television could plumb the depths of its main character being held accountable for past misdeeds by a #MeToo-esque movement, it’s BoJack Horseman, which is as haunted by the past as any great ghost story. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "BoJack Horseman season 5 is a bold, bracing look at a culture that shirks responsibility," 15 Sep. 2018 Soil surcharging work done ... Over the last two years, the SpaceX site was essentially leveled, loaded with hundreds of tons of soil, plumbed with drainage pipes, and then left alone to have gravity do the rest of the work. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: SpaceX gets Moon launches, South Korean rocket, BE-4 wins," 28 Sep. 2018 Bikoff and Stark plumbed the Stark archives—a gold mine of options, since the family now also has access to the legendary French brand Lelievre as well as Old World Weavers, the decorative-fabrics line founded in 1950 by Iris and Carl Apfel. Charles Curkin, ELLE Decor, "Urban Cowboy Meets Old World New York in a Textile Heir's Apartment," 25 Feb. 2019 What remains is the framing, or studs, and what's inside the walls, like plumbing pipes and electrical cable. Brett Martin, House Beautiful, "How Long It Takes To Renovate Every Single Room In Your House," 26 Dec. 2018 The mission is expected to last for two years, during which scientists will get a thorough picture of the the Martian interior and plumb clues to the origin of the planet. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "NASA's Mars InSight Lander Just Nailed Another Major Milestone," 27 Nov. 2018 However Piper came to plumb the paradoxes of her own racial designation (and everyone else’s), the desire to alter other people’s behavior by challenging their reflexive biases is one of her defining fixations. Thomas Chatterton Williams, New York Times, "Adrian Piper’s Show at MoMA is the Largest Ever for a Living Artist. Why Hasn’t She Seen It?," 27 June 2018 Valuations for some blue-chip stocks have plumbed multiyear lows: Japan’s Honda Motor Co. and U.S. computing giant International Business Machines Corp. , for example, have both seen their PE ratios fall to around 10-year lows this quarter. Mike Bird, WSJ, "The Great Cheapening of 2018: Global Stock Valuations Now at Five-Year Lows," 12 Dec. 2018 Or people just really like plumbing the depths of absurdity. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Why does flat Earth belief still exist?," 28 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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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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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on plumb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plumb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plumb

Spanish Central: Translation of plumb

Nglish: Translation of plumb for Spanish Speakers

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