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See more synonyms for plummet on Thesaurus.com
  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.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to plunge.
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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


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


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

    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


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


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.)).

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper