\ 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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Deep cuts loom on the Colorado River as water levels plunge. Joan Meiners, The Arizona Republic, 4 Aug. 2022 In time, two- and three-piece black ensembles of top, trousers and overskirt, oddly like feminized sailor suits, let women plunge in but not go too far. Los Angeles Times, 2 Aug. 2022 Deep cuts loom on the Colorado River as water levels plunge. Don Thompson, USA TODAY, 22 July 2022 But figuring out a new strategy is a challenge for an industry that once was among the hottest on global stock markets, but has recently seen valuations plunge as bad debts have climbed. Stuart Condie, WSJ, 22 July 2022 The move raises new questions about whether the rush to make credit more expensive will plunge major economies into recession at the price of fighting inflation, which is forcing people to spend more on food, fuel and everything in between. David Mchugh, ajc, 21 July 2022 There’s a nagging sense that as the country braces for recession and media companies see their stock prices plunge, stars could start to feel the pinch. Brent Lang, Variety, 21 July 2022 Their friends, the Varams, arrive and plunge right in, eight swimmers splashing about in the 80-degree water. Karen Heller, Washington Post, 20 July 2022 Open the pliers to the rough width of a pit, and plunge the sharp ends into the peach’s shoulders, on either side of its stem. Ella Quittner, Bon Appétit, 16 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Jessica Buckley, who lives in Maine, has been one of those contemplating a new career but not quite taking the plunge, although the state’s rate of job openings is above the national average. New York Times, 5 Aug. 2022 But as long as mortgage rates remain elevated, more Americans will be inclined to rent rather than taking the plunge into homeownership. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 4 Aug. 2022 Officials are taking the plunge anyway, capping the size of new swimming pools at single-family residential homes to about the size of a three-car garage. Ken Ritter, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 July 2022 Philiou continued to work simultaneously at the factory for 16 years, before taking the plunge and pivoting to McDonald’s full-time. Sydney Page, Washington Post, 11 July 2022 It’s been something of a banner week for people departing mega-bank JPMorgan to join the cryptocurrency industry, with three executives taking the plunge, despite a looming crypto winter. Ian Allison, Fortune, 6 July 2022 The plunge toward insolvency and high-return markets led fund managers to take on risky bets in hope of staying afloat. Cnn Business, CNN, 14 July 2022 The plunge has been caused by supply chain disruptions amid the Russia-Ukraine war, soaring inflation, and high crude oil prices, among other issues. Mimansa Verma, Quartz, 12 July 2022 But this is a plateau, not a plunge, according to Nick Bunker, an economist at Indeed. Kathryn Dill And Jemal R. Brinson, WSJ, 12 July 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near plunge

plunder room


plunge basin

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Statistics for plunge

Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Plunge.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for plunge


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on plunge

Nglish: Translation of plunge for Spanish Speakers

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


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