plumb

1 of 4

noun

: a lead weight attached to a line and used to indicate a vertical direction

plumb

2 of 4

adverb

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

3 of 4

verb

plumbed; plumbing; plumbs

transitive verb

1
: to weight with lead
2
a
: 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

4 of 4

adjective

1
: exactly vertical or true
2
Phrases
out of plumb or off plumb
: out of vertical or true
Choose the Right Synonym for plumb

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Commenters line up to thank her for her honesty — and plumb for even more detail. Taylor Telford, Washington Post, 6 July 2024 Alden just doesn’t have Jethro's bottomless depths of irritation to plumb. Sara Netzley, EW.com, 16 Apr. 2024 Soft and juicy mid palate flavors of cranberries, red plumbs and some cumin on the finish. Tom Mullen, Forbes, 25 Feb. 2024 Well structured and lively with heft, flavors of honey and white plumbs. Tom Mullen, Forbes, 25 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for plumb 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'plumb.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near plumb

Cite this Entry

“Plumb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plumb. Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

plumb

1 of 4 noun
: a weight attached to a line especially to show a vertical direction or distance

plumb

2 of 4 adverb
1
: straight down or up : vertically
2
chiefly dialect : to a complete degree : absolutely
3
: in a direct manner : exactly

plumb

3 of 4 verb
1
: to measure, adjust, or test with a plumb
plumb a wall
plumb the depth of the well
2
: to see into and come to understand
plumbed their motives

plumb

4 of 4 adjective
: exactly vertical or true
the wall is plumb

More from Merriam-Webster on plumb

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