plum·​met | \ ˈplə-mət How to pronounce plummet (audio) \
plummeted; plummeting; plummets

Definition of plummet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to fall perpendicularly birds plummeted down
2 : to drop sharply and abruptly prices plummeted



Definition of plummet (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : plumb also : plumb line
2 : an abrupt drop : an instance of plummeting a sharp plummet in prices If in the final week of the season, the Mets were trying to stop a plummet off a cliff, they are now attempting to climb out of a dark, deep abyss …— Judy Battista

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for plummet

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of plummet in a Sentence

Verb The acrobat plummeted into the net. The car plummeted to the bottom of the canyon. The satellite plummeted into the ocean. Stock prices plummeted 40 percent during the scandal. The TV show has plummeted in the ratings. Temperatures are expected to plummet this weekend. The town's population plummets when the students leave for the summer.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The bass eventually plummets downward, only to rise again. Chris Richards, Washington Post, "Lizzo is everything. Is that enough?," 23 Jan. 2020 The cold will then plow east from Tuesday into Thursday, sending temperatures plummeting by some 30 degrees. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Cold, snow to blast central, eastern U.S. this week," 10 Dec. 2019 Iran’s currency, the rial, has recovered a bit, after plummeting by 60% when Mr Trump imposed sanctions on countries that buy Iranian oil. The Economist, "Rises in the price of petrol are fuelling unrest in Iran," 21 Nov. 2019 The salmon catch is collapsing off Japan's northern coast, plummeting by about 70 percent in the past 15 years. Author: Simon Denyer, Chris Mooney, Anchorage Daily News, "The climate chain reaction that threatens the heart of the Pacific," 13 Nov. 2019 Donations also decreased, with contributions to the opera’s endowment fund, a key piece of financial infrastructure, plummeting by more than 50%, to about $250,000 in 2018 from about $581,000 in 2017. oregonlive, "Portland Opera names new general director as it continues to struggle financially," 25 Oct. 2019 Today the population of Tanzanian eastern blacks—smaller than their cousins, the more populous white rhino—has plummeted by 99 percent. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "What I Learned in the Trenches of a Rhino Translocation," 9 Oct. 2019 At the same time, money for Maryland Transit Administration capital projects is set to plummet by $345 million, or about 10%, over the next six fiscal years, according to the state’s latest draft transportation budget. Luke Broadwater,, "Baltimore lawmakers grill Maryland transportation secretary Rahn over cuts to transit in city," 29 Sep. 2019 Paul Chan, Hong Kong's financial secretary, said tourist arrivals plummeted in August by 40%. Kenneth Leung And Anna Kam And Helen Regan, CNN, "Hong Kong's Carrie Lam faces public anger in first community dialogue since protests began," 26 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plummet.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of plummet


1845, in the meaning defined at sense 2


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for plummet


Middle English plomet, from Anglo-French plumet, plomet, from plum lead, lead weight — more at plumb

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about plummet

Time Traveler for plummet

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for plummet

Last Updated

6 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Plummet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for plummet


How to pronounce plummet (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of plummet

: to fall suddenly straight down especially from a very high place
: to fall or drop suddenly in amount, value, etc.


plum·​met | \ ˈplə-mət How to pronounce plummet (audio) \
plummeted; plummeting

Kids Definition of plummet

: to fall straight down The satellite plummeted toward the ocean.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on plummet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plummet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plummet

Spanish Central: Translation of plummet

Nglish: Translation of plummet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plummet for Arabic Speakers

Comments on plummet

What made you want to look up plummet? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!