plung·​er | \ ˈplən-jər How to pronounce plunger (audio) \

Definition of plunger

: one that plunges: such as
a : diver
b : a reckless gambler or speculator
c(1) : a sliding reciprocating piece driven by or against fluid pressure especially : piston
(2) : a piece with a motion like that of a ram or piston
d : a rubber suction cup on a handle used to free plumbing traps and waste outlets of obstructions

Examples of plunger in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Carley Elizabeth turns a discount-store plunger and brown yarn into trendy wall art. Kaylei Fear, Better Homes & Gardens, 29 Oct. 2021 The magnet then moves the diaphragm in and out – kind of like a plunger – pushing and compressing air, creating pulses of high pressure and low pressure. Timothy Hsu, The Conversation, 24 Nov. 2021 Even families who don’t have in-unit laundry can use a five-gallon bucket with a lid and a plunger., 19 Oct. 2021 Nine minutes of the shooting officer’s body camera footage show Craig lying halfway inside the bathroom, his head near the toilet, with a pool of blood below his body, the handle of a toilet plunger leaning against his side. Stephanie Casanova,, 4 Nov. 2021 Beyond checking the valve, keep your toilet efficient and your drains clear by regularly cleaning with mild cleaners, avoiding flushing anything that’s not toilet paper and keeping a plunger nearby. Washington Post, 3 Nov. 2021 For example, a pocket of air can make the lens more like a plunger and your eyeball more like a toilet, causing some suction action to occur. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 30 Oct. 2021 Doctors went ahead and pushed the plunger on that first shot, only for Shawn Mahoney to receive a call from a St. Jude’s specialist 10 minutes into the ride home. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Oct. 2021 Just be sure to scoop the mushrooms off the top of the water before pushing the plunger back down to strain the liquid. Washington Post, 6 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plunger.' 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 plunger

1611, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for plunger

Time Traveler

The first known use of plunger was in 1611

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Dictionary Entries Near plunger

plunge pool


plunger bucket

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Statistics for plunger

Last Updated

20 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Plunger.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for plunger



English Language Learners Definition of plunger

: a tool made of a stick with a rubber cup on the end that is used to clear a blocked pipe in a toilet or sink
: a part that moves up and down usually inside a tube or cylinder (such as a syringe) to push something out


plung·​er | \ ˈplən-jər How to pronounce plunger (audio) \

Kids Definition of plunger

: a part that moves up and down usually inside a tube or cylinder to push something out

More from Merriam-Webster on plunger

Nglish: Translation of plunger for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about plunger


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