\ ˈplənj How to pronounce plunge (audio) \
plunged; plunging

Definition of plunge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cause to penetrate or enter quickly and forcibly into something plunged the dagger
2 : to cause to enter a state or course of action usually suddenly, unexpectedly, or violently plunged the nation into economic depression

intransitive verb

1 : to thrust or cast oneself into or as if into water
2a : to become pitched or thrown headlong or violently forward and downward also : to move oneself in such a manner plunged off the embankment
b : to act with reckless haste : enter suddenly or unexpectedly plunges into project after project
c : to bet or gamble heavily and recklessly
3 : to descend or dip suddenly the stock's value plunged



Definition of plunge (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or instance of plunging : dive also : swim

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Synonyms for plunge

Synonyms: Verb

dive, pitch, sound

Synonyms: Noun

dive, pitch

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Examples of plunge in a Sentence


Her car plunged off a bridge. The stock market plunged yesterday. The President's approval rating has plunged to 20 percent. The moose population has plunged in recent years. The rocky cliffs plunge into the swirling rapids below. The road plunges down the mountain.


Amazingly, the cat survived its plunge from the building's roof. Market analysts predicted a price plunge. The store experienced a sharp plunge in sales.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Argentines marked the death of former President Fernando de La Rua, who had attracted voters with his image as an honest statesman but later left as the country plunged into its worst economic crisis. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from Latin America, Caribbean," 12 July 2019 For example, the 2008 economic crisis saw the United States shift from sequestration to a net release of carbon as turnover of wood products continued even as new use plunged. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "How much carbon does our lumber sequester?," 7 July 2019 Francesca's plans to close at least 30 stores this year as sales plunged 13 percent during its first quarter. Paul Takahashi, Houston Chronicle, "Francesca’s to close at least 30 stores this year as sales plunge 13 percent," 13 June 2019 As Elsa plunges into the sea, a bolt of lighting strikes the water, creating a ghostly horse figure that looms over the queen, then quickly evaporates. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Brand new full-length "Frozen II" trailer released," 11 June 2019 Regular updates stopped in 2015 as president Nicolás Maduro’s government plunged the country into severe economic crisis. Eshe Nelson, Quartz, "Venezuela has finally admitted to the awful state of its economy," 1 June 2019 Rory McCann, who plays The Hound, is particularly excited and cheers wildly as Arya plunges the knife into the season's Big Bad. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "How the ‘Game of Thrones’ Cast Reacted to Their Own Deaths," 27 May 2019 Dan Daly reputedly yelled as his attacking Marines plunged into German lines. Erik Brady, USA TODAY, "How old is former NFL coach Marv Levy? His dad was wounded in World War I," 27 June 2018 Cities have struggled to fund affordable housing as federal and state subsidies have plunged since the 2008 recession. Roland Li,, "Key approval for Cupertino housing, office, retail project near Apple," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

No Injuries Or Damage Reported WASHINGTON (AP) -- The space station Skylab, in its death plunge yesterday, sprayed debris over central Australia across some of the most desolate terrain on the face of the Earth. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: 40 years ago Skylab fell to Earth," 12 July 2019 His plunge Tuesday comes 59 years to the day that 7-year-old Roger Woodward went over the falls with a life jacket, and also survived. Greg Norman | Fox News, Fox News, "Man alive after plunging over Niagara Falls, exactly 59 years after seven-year-old boy survived fall," 10 July 2019 The action resumes a few months after Perry Wright took his fatal plunge at a school fundraising event. Chuck Barney, The Mercury News, "TV this week: ‘Big Little Lies,’ ‘Claws’ and ‘Pose’ return," 9 June 2019 At that point, with little investment required, the Nuggets called the Heat and took the plunge. Jeremy Woo,, "10 NBA Draft Thoughts: Bol Bol's Big Fall, Value Picks, and What to Expect in the Future," 21 June 2019 The pair undress and prepare for the freezing plunge. David Oliver, USA TODAY, "'The Bachelorette': Naked bungee-jumping, Luke offers to forgive 'boneheaded mistake'," 18 June 2019 But most Shark Tank hopefuls are eager to take the plunge with Lori as a partner, as her business ventures have made more than $870 million in retail sales. Marie Milano, Country Living, "'Shark Tank' Star Lori Greiner's Husband Dan Has Always Supported Her Career," 5 May 2019 After an 18-percent plunge between 2007 and 2009, prices statewide have barely budged, regaining only 3.3 percent. Kenneth R. Gosselin,, "Home Prices Across Connecticut Have Failed To Recover Since Peak In 2007," 17 May 2018 Several lead up to or meander around glacial lakes, almost navy in color under the purple-blue sky and perfect for a quick, refreshing plunge (even in August the water is heart-thumpingly cold). Vicky Lowry, ELLE Decor, "ELLE DECOR Goes to Jackson Hole," 6 July 2011

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for plunge


Middle English, from Anglo-French plunger, from Vulgar Latin *plumbicare, from Latin plumbum lead

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Statistics for plunge

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for plunge

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

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More Definitions for plunge



English Language Learners Definition of plunge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to fall or jump suddenly from a high place
: to fall or drop suddenly in amount, value, etc.
: to have a steep slope or drop downward



English Language Learners Definition of plunge (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sudden fall or jump usually from a high place
: a sudden quick fall in amount, value, etc.
: the act of suddenly beginning to be in a particular condition or situation


\ ˈplənj How to pronounce plunge (audio) \
plunged; plunging

Kids Definition of plunge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to leap or dive suddenly She plunged into the water.
2 : to thrust or force quickly The cat plunged its head blissfully into the bowl.— Katherine Paterson, Jacob Have I Loved
3 : to suddenly enter or cause to enter a certain situation or state Foolish investments plunged the family into debt.
4 : to drop suddenly downward or forward and downward Cliffs plunge to the valley.



Kids Definition of plunge (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sudden dive, rush, or leap

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More from Merriam-Webster on plunge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plunge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plunge

Spanish Central: Translation of plunge

Nglish: Translation of plunge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plunge for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about plunge

Comments on plunge

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something desired as essential

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