\ 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

— see also take the plunge

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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 Protected by an advanced heat shield, the Crew Dragon is expected to plunge into the lower atmosphere, deploy its four main parachutes and settle to a relatively gentle splashdown at 2:57 a.m. William Harwood, CBS News, "SpaceX Crew Dragon astronauts heading home to pre-dawn Sunday splashdown," 30 Apr. 2021 Deliveries of Johnson & Johnson ’s Covid-19 vaccine doses throughout the U.S. are expected to plunge by more than 80% next week, according to state officials and federal data, as J&J grapples with manufacturing challenges. Peter Loftus, WSJ, "J&J Covid-19 Vaccine Deliveries to Drop Sharply Next Week," 9 Apr. 2021 Her mother, worried that the trauma would plunge her daughter into depression, enrolled the burgeoning performer into a slate of extracurricular courses, including musical theater. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, "‘Godzilla vs. Kong’s’ Eiza González is a star in Mexico. Why do so few know her in the U.S.?," 2 Apr. 2021 Less than three months after pro-government forces pushed a renegade warlord out of the Libyan capital of Tripoli, infighting within the government now threatens to unravel it and plunge the country into the next chapter of chaos. Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post, "After ousting a renegade warlord, Libya’s pro-government forces turn on one another," 3 Sep. 2020 Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain the beans, and immediately plunge them into an ice bath (equal parts ice and water). Dallas News, "Our favorite spring delicacy? Fresh fava beans," 10 Apr. 2021 In the immediate aftermath of GameStop’s initial surge, a sale of shares might have been seen by outside investors as a lack of confidence in the stock, which could have caused the price to plunge. Kevin Dowd, Forbes, "After Premarket Drop Traders Still Bullish On GameStop Despite Plan For $1 Billion In New Stock," 5 Apr. 2021 Shares plunge when the rare earths bubble bursts later in the year. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Lynas is shaking up the supply chain for rare-earth metals," 6 Mar. 2021 Temperatures are expected to plunge from a high of 45 degrees Sunday to a low of 24 degrees, and on Monday, the high will only reach 30 degrees, the weather service said. Minnah Arshad, Detroit Free Press, "Winter storm expected to pummel Michigan with 8+ inches of snow: Here's what we know," 15 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Now, health and state leaders want younger people to take the plunge. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for May 4: Covid, immigration, US military, opioids, South China Sea," 4 May 2021 Then, in the midst of the pandemic, Entel decided to take the plunge and completely digitalize Entel University. Forbes, "This Telecommunications Company Charted A Path To Digital Self-Learning Despite Disruption," 21 Apr. 2021 The center hopes to inspire interest from close to a dozen existing industries in South Florida that have the capacity to take the plunge. David Lyons,, "Can South Florida leap into the space industry? Here’s a new idea to lure business.," 2 Apr. 2021 The abode in question, a contemporary, new-construction condo, lacked the prewar charm of its neighbors, but Hoffman saw potential in its bare walls, open-concept kitchen, and tall ceilings and opted to take the plunge. Laurel Benedum, ELLE Decor, "Tour an East Village Condo That’s Small on Space But Big on Style," 16 Mar. 2021 In November 2019, Metro seemed ready to take the plunge. Washington Post, "Virginia Senate bill demands Metro change station name to include bank or lose $22 million," 23 Feb. 2021 Junior Aaron Henry, who tested the NBA draft waters last summer, is expected to take the plunge this year. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Tom Izzo explains everything that's gone wrong for Michigan State basketball this season," 20 Feb. 2021 Some informal negotiations are inevitable, but this was an especially bad week for the U.S. to take the plunge. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Biden’s Art of the Iran Concession," 19 Feb. 2021 Unlike most other carmakers who've taken that plunge, Honda still thinks fuel-cell vehicles may be a big part of the post-gasoline future. Annie White, Car and Driver, "This Week in Cars: the Shanghai Auto Show, Tesla, and the F-150 Raptor," 23 Apr. 2021

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

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Plunge.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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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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