\ 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

Black aviators, a nude lip, and a plunging neckline punctuated by a duet of chains finished the fall-ready moment, which felt like a hard lean into Cyrus's emerging identity as a pop start with a penchant for rock and roll. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Miley Cyrus Takes Wet Hair to the Tom Ford Front Row," 10 Sep. 2019 The twin steps—both heavy with symbolism—reflect the high stakes involved in Volkswagen’s ambitions to become the world’s electric-car leader just four years after the diesel-cheating scandal plunged it into the worst crisis in its history. Christoph Rauwald, Fortune, "Volkswagen’s New Battery-Powered Car, the ID.3, Is a $33 Billion Risk," 9 Sep. 2019 Low cut blouses, tops, sweaters, etc. with plunging necklines are not allowed. Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post, "Black girls say D.C. school dress codes unfairly target them. Now they’re speaking up.," 5 Sep. 2019 Hughes plunged himself into aiding Simpson during the trial of the century. Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times, "This secret donor has given USC $400 million," 5 Sep. 2019 Any unexpected expense, like a flat tire or traffic ticket, would plunge her dangerously over the cliff. Cory Booker, Time, "Cory Booker: A Waitress I Knew Made $2.13 an Hour. I Wish She Lived to Get a Fair Shake in This Economy," 2 Sep. 2019 The gown featured a plunging open-collar neckline with a full ball skirt with front slit, which the star opened when posing for photos, exposing her commando situation. Colleen Kratofil,, "Farrah Abraham Has Wardrobe Malfunction as She Goes Commando on Venice Film Festival Red Carpet," 30 Aug. 2019 Tribal chairman Tony Johnson instructed everyone to raise their paddles – the crescent-shaped ends marking them as distinctly Chinookan – and plunge them into the water., "Paddling in Chinook canoe, students learn Native American history first-hand," 21 July 2019 According to media reports, Gary wandered into the kitchen, found a knife and plunged it into his own chest, taking his own life. Trisha Powell Crain |,, "Rural charter school stokes religious fears, roils community in Alabama," 21 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The King Range mountains plunge into the sea, deterring road-builders from continuing State Route 1 along the ocean. Elaine Glusac, New York Times, "On California’s Lost Coast: Sea Lions, Surf and Squiggly Roads," 31 Aug. 2019 The plunge in yields risks spawning a vicious circle for the industry. Fortune, "Financial Security of Future Retirees in Jeopardy After ‘Financial Vandalism’ of Falling Yields," 27 Aug. 2019 The pooch plunge - where dogs got to swim in Beachland Park’s swimming pool - serves as a show of support and a fundraiser for the future dog park. Michael Walsh,, "West Hartford Dog Park Coalition Hosts Annual Pooch Plunge," 26 Aug. 2019 But now cities are taking the plunge, courting new development and swaddling long stretches of pavement with dense housing. Rachel Swan,, "East Bay cities look to reinvent and reinvigorate aging, car-oriented corridors," 27 July 2019 The plunge Jurassic Park: The boat plummeted down a steep ramp and into the water pooled below, soaking a random amount of riders, some wearing the cheap ponchos sold in the gift shop. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Universal Studios Hollywood opens Jurassic World ride. But is it better than the old one?," 12 July 2019 Featured are five bodies of water including the new Peterson Pool, the slide plunge, a lazy river with three waterfalls and an activity pool with a splash pad. Linda Gandee/special To,, "Westlake mayor takes plunge as aquatic center opens at Clague Park," 17 June 2019 Your visit is completely customizable with offerings for the little ones at Adventure Village as well as the fearless ones at the super zip (1,280-foot zip line) and the Tree Top Plunge (65-foot plunge following a 40-foot climb). Gerry Frank,, "3 ideas for spending time with Dad on Father’s Day: Gerry Frank’s picks," 9 June 2019 Bowen scored his second touchdown of the night on a 2-yard plunge with 4:20 remaining in the first quarter to up the lead to 16-0. Gary Curreri,, "Bowen, Dillard dominate Fort Lauderdale 44-0," 17 Aug. 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

13 Sep 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

Comments on plunge

What made you want to look up plunge? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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