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plummet

[pluhm-it]
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noun
  1. Also called plumb bob. a piece of lead or some other weight attached to a line, used for determining perpendicularity, for sounding, etc.; the bob of a plumb line.
  2. something that weighs down or depresses.
verb (used without object)
  1. to plunge.

Origin of plummet

1350–1400; (noun) Middle English plommet < Middle French, diminutive of plomb lead; (v.) derivative of the noun See plumb, -et
Related formsun·plum·met·ed, adjective

Synonyms

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3. fall, dive, drop, swoop.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for plummet

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And love was the plummet dropped down into the deeps of him where like had never gone.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • Oh, is there any plummet to sound the depths of a mother's love?

    Debts of Honor

    Maurus Jkai

  • No plummet ever sank so deep as Jamie sank the thoughts of those few months.

    Pirate Gold</p>

    Frederic Jesup Stimson

  • Her singles were perfectly round, and as flat at the top as if laid with a plummet.

  • This line, with a plummet, is mentioned by Lucilius; and was the sund-gyrd of the Anglo-Saxons.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth


British Dictionary definitions for plummet

plummet

verb -mets, -meting or -meted
  1. (intr) to drop down; plunge
noun
  1. another word for plumb bob
  2. a lead plumb used by anglers to determine the depth of water

Word Origin

C14: from Old French plommet ball of lead, from plomb lead, from Latin plumbum
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

Word Origin and History for plummet

n.

late 14c., "ball of lead, plumb of a bob-line," from Old French plomet "graphite, lead; plummet, sounding lead," diminutive of plom "sounding lead" (see plumb (n.)).

v.

1620s, "to fathom, take soundings," from plummet (n.). Meaning "to fall rapidly" first recorded 1933, perhaps originally among aviators. Related: Plummeted; plummeting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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