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 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 The overhaul will require the astronauts to cut and splice multiple coolant lines while plumbing in a new pump module. William Harwood, CBS News, "An oven is heading to space so astronauts can bake cookies," 2 Nov. 2019 My husband thought the home inspector would test the electrical, plumbing components, water heater and furnace. Pat Kapowich, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: Buyer frugality can come at a cost, including endangering a purchase," 5 Sep. 2019 The best of King plumbs the psychological depths of the best and worst of human nature, and IT is definitely one of his best. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Review: IT Chapter Two is overlong, but Pennywise will still haunt your dreams," 6 Sep. 2019 The company’s bonds due 2035 are trading around 99 cents on the dollar for the first time since February of 2018, marking a 29% gain from the low of 77 cents plumbed during the worst of the autumn selloff. Matt Wirz, WSJ, "GE Bondholders Benefit at Shareholders’ Expense," 10 July 2019 Though most of the structure is perfectly plumb, the great columns at the center of the cathedral were built ever-so-slightly outwards, and the choir doesn't align exactly with the nave. Andrew Tallon, National Geographic, "Historian uses lasers to unlock mysteries of Gothic cathedrals," 16 Apr. 2019 While those other scientists plumbed the mysteries of the atom, Ault studied the invisible magnetic forces that enshroud our planet. John Kelly, Washington Post, "A truly magnetic personality: Capt. J.P. Ault and his amazing ship, the Carnegie," 14 Sep. 2019 An air of mystery or a desire to plumb unknown depths might be a large part of someone's attraction. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive.com, "Horoscope for Aug. 19, 2019: Sagittarius, place trust in those who earn it; Aquarius, offer support, good judgement," 19 Aug. 2019 It is also plumbed for gas for a fabulous outdoor kitchen. Monica Lander, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: One of a Kind: Spectacular Mt. Diablo views from a Round Hill North home in Alamo," 12 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plumb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plumb

Spanish Central: Translation of plumb

Nglish: Translation of plumb for Spanish Speakers

Comments on plumb

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