plum·​my | \ ˈplə-mē How to pronounce plummy (audio) \
plummier; plummiest

Definition of plummy

1a : full of plums a rich plummy cake
b : choice, desirable got a plummy role in the movie
2a : having a plum color
b : rich and mellow often to the point of affectation a plummy singing voice

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Did You Know?

During the 18th century the word plum became a delectable ingredient in the English language. The word for the sweet, juicy fruit denoted such things as a fortune of 100,000 pounds, a rich person, and, by the early 19th century, anything desirable. "Plummy" blossomed in the mid-18th century with the meaning "full of plums" and had branched out as an adjective for desirable things by the century's end. By the late 19th century it was being used to describe rich, mellow voices. The sweetness of the word did eventually sour, however, when people began to use it to describe stilted or affected speech, as in "the teacher used a plummy voice when he talked to the students' parents."

Examples of plummy in a Sentence

the wine's ripe, plummy flavors
Recent Examples on the Web The Zuccardi was dark and plummy, with an aromatic note of leafiness. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "Malbecs From Argentina Fight the Stereotypes," 7 Nov. 2019 All in all, the film looks like a lot of fun, with plummy British accents to boot. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Thor Ragnarok stars reunite, kick alien butt in MiB International trailer," 20 Dec. 2018 The shade Sheets appears to be a matte beige; Beyond is a light, brown-leaning peach; Night Fever looks like a shimmering version of Beyond; Addict is a shimmery fuchsia; Glare is a metallic, golden brown; and Whiplash is a rich, plummy brown. Marci Robin, Allure, "Urban Decay Is Reportedly Launching a Six-Shade Aphrodisiac Eye Shadow Palette," 18 July 2018 Schiff’s sense of voicing (creating a hierarchy from among simultaneous multiple musical lines) dovetailed in a gorgeously complex way with the Bösendorfer’s colors – plummy French horns in the middle register, muted trumpets above, tuba below. Peter Dobrin,, "Pianist András Schiff is a master of detail at the Kimmel," 1 Apr. 2018 The orchestra has entered the sports arena before, or at least made plummy noises at the sidelines. Peter Dobrin,, "Super Bowl Overture: Philadelphia Orchestra records Eagles fight song," 10 Dec. 2017 Ice cream aromas abound, as with the cherry-vanilla and chocolate-mocha aromatics found in this pleasingly plump and plummy red wine. Maureen Fitzgerald,, "Great Wine Values 'The Count' Red Blend by Buena Vista Sonoma County, California," 13 July 2017 The jelly-like eye shadow dries to a last-all-day powder, and this ever-changing shimmery hue looks plummy one moment, teal the next. Shelley Levitt, Orange County Register, "Relax and rejuvenate with Coast’s May beauty picks," 15 May 2017 The most convincing tenor was that of Blake Friedman as Iago, whose voice has a plummy fullness and dusky hue. Corinna Da Fonseca-wollheim, New York Times, "Review: The Desdemona in This ‘Otello’ Spits Fire," 17 Mar. 2017

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

1724, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of plummy was in 1724

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Cite this Entry

“Plummy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for plummy


How to pronounce plummy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of plummy

: like a plum in color, taste, or smell
often disapproving, of a person's voice : full and formal often in a way that sounds too proper and not natural
informal : wanted by many people : very good and desirable

More from Merriam-Webster on plummy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plummy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plummy

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