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[pluhm-it] /ˈplʌm ɪt/
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.
something that weighs down or depresses.
verb (used without object)
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 forms
unplummeted, adjective
3. fall, dive, drop, swoop. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for plummeting
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Chow, Doc, and the girls watched his plummeting figure fade from view.

  • He watched the plummeting body—and gasped with consternation, for less than ten feet above the pavement, Albert abruptly vanished!

    Insidekick Jesse Franklin Bone
  • The thunder of the rockets increased and the mighty ship quivered as its plummeting descent was checked slightly.

    The Space Pioneers Carey Rockwell
  • Jonner recoiled, only his webbed safety belt preventing him from plummeting from the control chair.

    Atom Drive Charles Louis Fontenay
  • She felt like a bird in flight suddenly struck by an arrow and plummeting to earth.

British Dictionary definitions for plummeting


verb -mets, -meting, -meted
(intransitive) to drop down; plunge
another word for plumb bob
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
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Word Origin and History for plummeting



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.)).


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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