\ 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

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of plunge in a Sentence

Verb 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. Noun 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 The cliffs plunge below to the entrance to the bay, with a jaw-dropping view of the Golden Gate Bridge and across to the Marin Headlands. Tom Stienstra,, "Top 10 Bay Area hikes during shelter-in-place," 12 June 2020 Dogs should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible to treat symptoms such as seizures, heart problems such as arrhythmia and body temperatures that skyrocket and then plunge. Jay Cannon, USA TODAY, "Florida tells residents to humanely kill these invasive, toxic toads that are lethal to pets," 12 June 2020 When tenants stopped paying rent in April, many landlords began to fall behind on loan payments, causing prices to plunge in the $550 billion market for commercial mortgage backed securities. Natalie Wong,, "American Dream Leaves Clan Behind Mall Empire Mired in Debt," 11 June 2020 The coronavirus pandemic, which caused oil prices to plunge as people hunkered down at home, has only accelerated the need to reduce costs, Looney said. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "BP to cut 10,000 jobs because of oil price crash," 8 June 2020 This crisis was brought to the boil by covid-19, which has caused economies to shrink and tax revenues to plunge. The Economist, "A borrowers’ catch-22 African governments face a wall of debt repayments," 6 June 2020 The agency also projected that economic output would plunge by almost $16 trillion over the 2020–2030 period. NBC News, "Unemployment rate falls to 13.3 percent as economy gains surprise 2.5 million jobs despite coronavirus," 5 June 2020 Cincinnati firefighters and Boone County water rescue units are on Riverside Drive in Covington, where witnesses say a van drove through a fence and plunged into the Ohio River. Ian Mckenzie,, "Fire rescue at scene of van in Ohio River at Riverside Drive in Covington," 2 June 2020 Chesnes and Guarnera, who is a member of the church, conducted the baptism, plunging the boy’s head underwater, according to court filings. Eric Heisig, cleveland, "Geauga County couple settles lawsuit that claimed evangelical church forcibly baptized disabled son," 29 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The entire rental car industry has been devastated by the plunge in travel since the coronavirus pandemic hit earlier this year. Chris Isidore, CNN, "Hertz pulls plug on questionable stock sale," 18 June 2020 Nationwide, retail sales rose a record 17.7% from April to May, following a record plunge, as the battered economy slowly started to reopen, but numbers still trail last year’s consumer spending. Chronicle Staff,, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: June 16," 17 June 2020 But maybe the best reason for taking the plunge into homeownership is something hard to quantify, according to Allie Beth Allman & Associates. Dallas News, "Buy your first home and put down roots in the neighborhood," 14 June 2020 But there have been exceptions, such as the 37% plunge in 2008, during the last recession. Russ Wiles, azcentral, "The first half of 2020 was a doozy — Here's what investors should watch for in the next 6 months," 14 June 2020 Turkey’s clothing sector as a whole saw an uptick of nearly 7% in exports over the same period compared with 2019, before a plunge of nearly 28% in March, when the pandemic struck home. The Economist, "Hard landing Life is tough for Turkish businesses," 13 June 2020 Companies have downsized, merged or gone out of business as a result of the energy downturn of 2014, and many are facing a new crisis with the recent plunge in oil prices. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Chronicle taps panel of experts to examine Houston’s changing office market," 12 June 2020 Hidden in the heart of the city, 12 of the 23 guest accommodations feature private plunge pools shaded by lush gardens for a little extra seclusion. Essence, "Get Lost: 72 Hours in Curacao," 11 June 2020 That spending surge, coupled with a plunge in revenue as the economy shut down, has put the U.S. on track for its biggest budget deficits since World War II. Laura Davison,, "Jobs Rebound Spurs GOP Calls for Congress to Go Slow on Stimulus," 8 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for plunge

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for plunge

Last Updated

22 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Plunge.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for plunge


How to pronounce plunge (audio)

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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