\ 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

Restaurants and houses of worship that moments earlier were hosting holiday feasts and joyful services were plunged into chaos, filled with rubble, broken furniture, shards of glass and the... Uditha Jayasinghe, WSJ, "Sri Lanka Easter Bombings Kill at Least 290; Several Americans Dead," 22 Apr. 2019 In November 1910, Mexico was plunged into a near decade-long war that pitted the federal government, run by dictator Porfirio Díaz Mori, against thousands of revolutionaries from varying factions. Teen Vogue, "The Real History of Las Soldaderas, the Women Who Made the Mexican Revolution Possible," 12 Mar. 2019 Football-mad Germany was plunged into mourning after the title holders were knocked out of the group stages for the first time since 1938. Afp,, "German chancellor Merkel on Germany's elimination: 'how sad!'," 27 June 2018 Russian-Ukrainian relations were plunged into crisis in 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula and as pro-Russian rebels seized parts of the east of Ukraine. Angela Dewan, Antonia Mortensen And Denis Lapin, CNN, "Russia, Ukraine blame each other for journalist killing," 30 May 2018 Just as the previous installment opened with a pre-credits change of scenery, this time we were plunged into an environment unfamiliar to this show but plenty familiar to Western entertainment: an outpost of the British Raj. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Westworld: Ride the Tiger," 6 May 2018 Hundreds of thousand of homes and businesses were plunged into darkness amid rolling blackouts, wholesale electricity prices skyrocketed to record levels and the state’s largest utility, PG&E Corp.’s Pacific Gas & Electric, went bankrupt. Mark Chediak,, "California Warns of a Second Energy Crisis," 3 May 2018 The escalation has threatened to plunge the fractured nation deeper into chaos. Edith M. Lederer, The Seattle Times, "UN appeals for urgent release of migrants trapped in Libya," 12 Apr. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Inside a neutron star—the city-size, hyperdense cinder left after a supernova—modern physics plunges off the edge of the map. Joshua Sokol, Scientific American, "Gravitational Waves Reveal the Hearts of Neutron Stars," 5 June 2018 Students continue to leave the district for charter schools, but Martinez said that alone doesn’t seem to account for the enrollment plunge. Alia Malik, San Antonio Express-News, "Largest-ever enrollment decline driving SAISD budget shortfall," 28 Mar. 2018 Samana, of Wells Fargo, said the recovery from the recent 10 percent plunge may not be a smooth one either. Marley Jay, Houston Chronicle, "Stocks stretch winning streak to 6 days despite turbulence," 16 Feb. 2018 Take a plunge for an instant refresh after all that Joshua Tree hiking. Allison Young, Sunset, "10 Best Vintage Airstream Airbnbs," 22 Jan. 2018 Just one week later, the market entered an extended bout of volatility that included a rapid plunge of 10 percent in early February. Washington Post, "US stock indexes cap choppy trading week with a mixed finish," 18 May 2018 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

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

7 Jun 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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