verb (used without object), dived or dove, dived, div·ing.

verb (used with object), dived or dove, dived, div·ing.

to cause to plunge, submerge, or descend.
to insert quickly; plunge: He dived his hand into his pocket.


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 formspost·dive, adjectivepre·dive, adjectiveun·der·dive, nounun·der·dive, verb (used without object), un·der·dived or un·der·dove, un·der·dived, un·der·div·ing.

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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dived

Contemporary Examples of dived

  • It dived into their pre-apocalypse backgrounds, their vices and issues with class.

    The Daily Beast logo
    A Perfect 'Walking Dead' Episode

    Melissa Leon

    March 3, 2014

  • A friend ran down the pier, dived overboard and pulled him out; but the silk hat floated off with the tide.

    The Daily Beast logo
    If the Economy Improves

    David Frum

    February 15, 2012

  • It turns out that she dived into therapy after she learned the family secret.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Carla on the Couch

    Eric Pape

    October 22, 2009

  • Michael dived into the filming, learning not only his lines but everyone else's.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Michael Jackson: An Oral History

    The Daily Beast

    July 6, 2009

Historical Examples of dived

  • Into the breast pocket of his coat he dived and brought up a wallet.


    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

British Dictionary definitions for dived


verb dives, diving or dived or US dove or dived (mainly intr)

to plunge headfirst into water
(of a submarine, swimmer, etc) to submerge under water
(also tr) 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 plungehe dived for the ball
(also tr; 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 outhe took a dive in the fourth round
soccer slang the act of a player pretending to have been tripped or impeded

Word Origin for dive

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

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