\ 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

Their intent was to halt his quest for power and restore the Roman Republic, but instead the country was plunged into civil war. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, "So, What Exactly Are the Ides of March?," 15 Mar. 2019 For astronauts living on the International Space Station, Earth is several hours away, and the only way to get back is on a capsule that plunges through the planet’s atmosphere. Loren Grush, The Verge, "How to handle a medical emergency on a deep space mission," 24 Aug. 2018 Her outfit had cutout sides, a train, and a neckline that plunged verrrry low. Michelle Manetti, Good Housekeeping, "Kerry Washington and Her Plunging Jumpsuit Won the Tony Awards Red Carpet," 11 June 2018 For all that, foreign direct investment plunged last year to its lowest level since 2010, mostly because companies that include Royal Dutch Shell Plc and ConocoPhillips pulled out of the oil sands. Kristine Owram,, "Trudeau’s Hipster Economics Looked Great Until Trump Cut Taxes," 29 May 2018 The California law authorizing such programs was passed in 2002, in the wake of the electricity crisis that had plunged PG&E into bankruptcy and sent blackouts rolling across the state. David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, "A new type of public power is growing in California, and raising alarms," 26 May 2018 The five-time Prime Minister was assassinated in a 2005 bombing that plunged Lebanon into political crisis. Tamara Qiblawi, CNN, "Lebanon's Hariri wins third term as Prime Minister," 24 May 2018 The thirties also brought revelations and violent political emergencies that plunged Locke into a rapprochement with the left. Tobi Haslett, The New Yorker, "The Man Who Led the Harlem Renaissance—and His Hidden Hungers," 11 May 2018 President Donald Trump has decided to withdraw from the landmark Iran nuclear accord, according to a U.S. official, a move that would plunge the Mideast into a new era of uncertainty. Time, "President Trump Has Decided to Pull Out of Iran Nuclear Deal and Reimpose Sanctions," 8 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Back in late Febraury, Snapchat reportedly $1.3 billion in market value due to a stock plunge after Kylie tweeted about not liking the app’s new update. Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner’s Biggest Moments In the Past Year," 10 Aug. 2018 The sudden plunge back into familiar narrative territory feels both a little eerie and entirely welcome. Justin Chang,, "How the dazzling, overstuffed ‘Incredibles 2’ holds up a cracked mirror to present-day reality," 4 July 2018 On hot days, taking a dip in the pool or ocean can be the perfect way to cool down — but any plunge should be done with caution. Lindsay Kimble,, "Summer Has Arrived — Here's How to Avoid Flesh-Eating Bacteria & More Warm Weather Health Hazards," 5 June 2018 What type of bra is best: A plunge, which will help center and lift the breasts. Glamour, "Are You Wearing the Right Bra for Your Breast Type?," 28 Mar. 2019 Russian producers are sending more crops to China as U.S. soybean exports to the world’s biggest bean market plunge, the WSJ’s Thomas Grove and Anatoly Kurmanaev report. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "Today’s Logistics Report: Freight’s Bigger Value; Choppy Container Waters; Tracking Food Supplies," 22 Feb. 2019 What type of bra is best: A plunge style, which will help pull the breasts up and together. Glamour, "Are You Wearing the Right Bra for Your Breast Type?," 28 Mar. 2019 Taking the bang plunge without that ensuing regret afterwards? Christian Allaire, Vogue, "A Look at Bella Hadid’s Most Extreme Hair Transformations," 25 Mar. 2019 Priyanka looked elegant in a stunning, plunge tulle dress from Ellie Saab Couture. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas Got Their Tongues Out at the Oscars Vanity Fair Party," 25 Feb. 2019

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

10 May 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

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