\ˈplənj \
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

Deutsche Bank’s stock price has plunged in reaction to the news. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Deutsche Bank’s German office raids (apparently) have nothing to do with Trump," 30 Nov. 2018 Crude prices have plunged since early October as global stockpiles surged. Marley Jay, The Seattle Times, "Stocks move higher on Wall Street after 2 days of big losses," 21 Nov. 2018 Though a once-wealthy oil-producing nation, Venezuela has plunged into an economic and political crisis after two decades of socialist rule. Claudia Torrens, Fox News, "Venezuelan official to crash UN meeting on migrant crisis," 24 Sep. 2018 The search has plunged her into a thicket of tax sales and foreclosures, revealing a tortuous path of ownership that is not unusual for Baltimore’s thousands of vacant homes. Tim Prudente,, "With ownership in question, lawsuit stalls over deadly West Baltimore collapse," 12 July 2018 In a conspicuous sign of unease among global investors, the value of Turkey’s currency, the lira, has plunged by roughly one-fifth this year, raising prices for households and businesses alike. New York Times, "Turkey’s Economy Is So Hot That It May Face a Meltdown," 10 July 2018 Although the number of people heading north from Agadez has plunged, a few thousand each month pass through in the other direction, having failed to make it to Europe. The Economist, "On the edge of the Sahara, people mourn the decline of people-smuggling," 5 July 2018 While the country has invested billions of dollars in desalination and wastewater recycling plants, a five-year drought has plunged Israel’s water tables to the lowest level in about 100 years, according to the Israel Energy and Water Ministry. Shira Rubin, USA TODAY, "The Middle East's first natural history museum is designed like Noah's Ark," 29 June 2018 But in recent years, the prison population has plunged to record lows. Maria Cramer,, "Parole board still slow to release inmates 8 years after ex-convict killed officer, critics say," 26 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Living > Parties Almost one year to the day after opening her Bond Street pop-up shop, Gwyneth Paltrow has made the plunge and converted her space into a full-on Goop Lab. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Gwyneth Paltrow Celebrates Goop Lab’s New York Arrival," 15 Nov. 2018 But because that swing is so much more dramatic, the plunge in sunlight creates a milder northern summer and a downright frigid southern winter. Shannon Hall, New York Times, "Never Mind the Summer Heat: Earth Is at Its Greatest Distance From the Sun," 5 July 2018 Iran is banning imports of over 1,300 products, preparing its economy to resist threatened US sanctions, amid rare public protests against the plunge of its currency to record lows. Andrew Torchia, The Christian Science Monitor, "Iran bans over 1,300 imports amid protests over its plunging currency," 26 June 2018 The plunge began Sunday, with several factors possibly feeding into it, including a cyber-heist that hit South Korea’s Coinrail cryptocurrency exchange—even though no bitcoins were stolen—and a U.S. regulatory probe into Bitcoin price manipulation. David Meyer, Fortune, "Bitcoin's Latest Price Crash May Be Over. But There's Still Reason to Worry," 14 June 2018 Despite possessing no major renovation experience whatsoever and a tool kit consisting of a hammer, a screwdriver, an assortment of nails, and nothing else, the Johnsons took the plunge to transform the two-flat into a single-family home. Steve Heisler, Chicago Reader, "The blog Two Flat: Remade chronicles one family’s ten-year struggle to rehab a maggot-infested fixer-upper in Logan Square," 15 May 2018 Oil prices took a plunge Tuesday, with U.S. crude sliding 7.1%, its steepest fall in over three years. Gregory Zuckerman, WSJ, "Oil Hedge Fund Giant Hammered in Crude’s Slide," 15 Nov. 2018 The company believes some users who haven't gone full cord-cutter yet may be willing to take the plunge if some channels remain available to them at first. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "TiVo Bolt OTA review: For would-be cord-cutters with great antenna reception," 4 Oct. 2018 Enjoying the day with family and new friends ahead of the stunt, Williamson bravely boarded a Skydive Snohomish plane and valiantly ascended to a height of 14,000 feet before taking the plunge. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "Seattle man celebrates 100th birthday with skydive: 'It's a real piece of cake'," 27 July 2018

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

6 Dec 2018

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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 \
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

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


to make faulty or ineffective

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