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[dahyv] /daɪv/
verb (used without object), dived or dove, dived, diving.
to plunge into water, especially headfirst.
to go below the surface of the water, as a submarine.
to plunge, fall, or descend through the air, into the earth, etc.:
The acrobats dived into nets.
Aeronautics. (of an airplane) to descend rapidly.
to penetrate suddenly into something, as with the hand:
to dive into one's purse.
to dart:
to dive into a doorway.
to enter deeply or plunge into a subject, activity, etc.
verb (used with object), dived or dove, dived, diving.
to cause to plunge, submerge, or descend.
to insert quickly; plunge:
He dived his hand into his pocket.
an act or instance of diving.
a jump or plunge into water, especially in a prescribed way from a diving board.
the vertical or nearly vertical descent of an airplane at a speed surpassing the possible speed of the same plane in level flight.
a submerging, as of a submarine or skindiver.
a dash, plunge, or lunge, as if throwing oneself at or into something:
He made a dive for the football.
a sudden or sharp decline, as in stock prices.
Informal. a dingy or disreputable bar or nightclub.
Boxing. a false show of being knocked out, usually in a bout whose result has been prearranged:
to take a dive in an early round.
Origin of dive
before 900; Middle English diven to dive, dip, Old English dȳfan to dip (causative of dūfan to dive, sink); cognate with Old Norse dȳfa dip, German taufen to baptize; akin to dip1
Related forms
postdive, adjective
predive, adjective
underdive, noun
underdive, verb (used without object), underdived or underdove, underdived, underdiving.
Usage note
Both dived and dove are standard as the past tense of dive. Dived, historically the older form, is somewhat more common in edited writing, but dove occurs there so frequently that it also must be considered standard: The rescuer dove into 20 feet of icy water. Dove is an Americanism that probably developed by analogy with alternations like drive, drove and ride, rode. It is the more common form in speech in the northern United States and in Canada, and its use seems to be spreading. The past participle of dive is always dived. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dived
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Into the breast pocket of his coat he dived and brought up a wallet.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • As he dived into the intricate problems memories came with them.

    The Rock of Chickamauga Joseph A. Altsheler
  • Visibly he lost importance as he yielded and dived into his pocket.

    The Fortune Hunter Louis Joseph Vance
  • With rapid glances he took stock of the women, dived into their very souls.

  • Bill nodded with profound gravity, and dived into one of his pockets.

    The Law-Breakers Ridgwell Cullum
  • As soon as he had gone, Ellis dived again into the vitals of the auto.

    The Woman-Haters Joseph C. Lincoln
British Dictionary definitions for dived


verb (mainly intransitive) dives, diving, dived (US) dove, dived
to plunge headfirst into water
(of a submarine, swimmer, etc) to submerge under water
(also transitive) to fly (an aircraft) in a steep nose-down descending path, or (of an aircraft) to fly in such a path
to rush, go, or reach quickly, as in a headlong plunge: he dived for the ball
(also transitive; foll by in or into) to dip or put (one's hand) quickly or forcefully (into): to dive into one's pocket
usually foll by in or into. to involve oneself (in something), as in eating food
(soccer, slang) (of a footballer) to pretend to have been tripped or impeded by an opposing player in order to win a free kick or penalty
a headlong plunge into water, esp one of several formalized movements executed as a sport
an act or instance of diving
a steep nose-down descent of an aircraft
(slang) a disreputable or seedy bar or club
(boxing, slang) the act of a boxer pretending to be knocked down or out: he took a dive in the fourth round
(soccer, slang) the act of a player pretending to have been tripped or impeded
Word Origin
Old English dӯfan; related to Old Norse dӯfa to dip, Frisian dīvi; see deep, dip
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dived



13c., from Old English dufan "to dive, duck, sink" (intransitive, class II strong verb; past tense deaf, past participle dofen) and dyfan "to dip, submerge" (weak, transitive), from Proto-Germanic *dubijanan, from PIE *dheub- (see deep). Past tense dove is a later formation, perhaps on analogy of drive/drove. Related: Diving. Dive bomber attested by 1939.



c.1700, from dive (v.). Sense of "disreputable bar" is first recorded American English 1871, perhaps because they were usually in basements, and going into one was both a literal and figurative "diving."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for dived



  1. A vulgar and disreputable haunt, such as a cheap bar, nightclub, lodging house, or dancehall; crib: the girl who danced in a dive in New Orleans (1871+)
  2. speakeasy (1920s+)
  3. A knockdown or knockout, esp a false prearranged knockout: A dive is a phantom knockout (1940s+ Prizefight)


: They fixed it so that he'd dive in the fourth

Related Terms

nose dive, take a dive

[origin of first sense uncertain; perhaps fr the notion that one could dive into a disreputable cellar haunt (called a diving bell in an 1883 glossary) and lose oneself among lowlifes and criminals; perhaps a shortening of divan, ''a smoking and gaming room,'' a usage popular in London in the mid-and late 19th century; the places were so called because they were furnished with divans, ''lounges,'' the name ultimately fr Turkish]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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