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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 plummeting

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Keeping his eyes glued on the plummeting altimeter, he got his left foot up and kicked out the side window.

    Beyond The Thunder

    H. B. Hickey

  • Stan opened up and saw an aileron flutter away from the plummeting fighter.

    A Yankee Flier with the R.A.F.

    Rutherford G. Montgomery

  • The gunners on board the battleship were taking notice and frantically trying to swing guns to bear upon the plummeting Hawk.

    A Yankee Flier with the R.A.F.

    Rutherford G. Montgomery

  • Stan sucked in a deep breath and looked down at the plummeting Heinkel.

    A Yankee Flier with the R.A.F.

    Rutherford G. Montgomery

  • She felt like a bird in flight suddenly struck by an arrow and plummeting to earth.


British Dictionary definitions for plummeting

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 plummeting

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.)).

plummet

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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