View synonyms for plunge


[ pluhnj ]

verb (used with object)

, plunged, plung·ing.
  1. to cast or thrust forcibly or suddenly into something, as a liquid, a penetrable substance, a place, etc.; immerse; submerge:

    to plunge a dagger into one's heart.

  2. to bring suddenly or forcibly into some condition, situation, etc.:

    to plunge a country into war; to pull a switch and plunge a house into darkness.

  3. Horticulture. to place (a potted plant) up to its rim in soil or in certain other materials, as sand or moss.
  4. Surveying. to transit (the telescope of a transit or theodolite).

verb (used without object)

, plunged, plung·ing.
  1. to cast oneself, or fall as if cast, into water, a hole, etc.

    Synonyms: dive

  2. to rush or dash with headlong haste:

    to plunge through a crowd.

    Synonyms: hasten

  3. to bet or speculate recklessly:

    to plunge on the stock market.

  4. to throw oneself impetuously or abruptly into some condition, situation, matter, etc.:

    to plunge into debt.

  5. to descend abruptly or precipitously, as a cliff, road, etc.

    Synonyms: drop

  6. to pitch violently forward, as a horse, ship, etc.


  1. act of plunging.
  2. a leap or dive, as into water.
  3. a headlong or impetuous rush or dash:

    a plunge into danger.

  4. a sudden, violent pitching movement.
  5. a place for plunging or diving, as a swimming pool.


/ plʌndʒ /


  1. usually foll by into to thrust or throw (something, oneself, etc)

    they plunged into the sea

  2. to throw or be thrown into a certain state or condition

    the room was plunged into darkness

  3. usually foll by into to involve or become involved deeply (in)

    he plunged himself into a course of Sanskrit

  4. intr to move or dash violently or with great speed or impetuosity
  5. intr to descend very suddenly or steeply

    the ship plunged in heavy seas

    a plunging neckline

  6. informal.
    intr to speculate or gamble recklessly, for high stakes, etc


  1. a leap or dive as into water
  2. informal.
    a swim; dip
  3. a place where one can swim or dive, such as a swimming pool
  4. a headlong rush

    a plunge for the exit

  5. a pitching or tossing motion
  6. take the plunge informal.
    1. to resolve to do something dangerous or irrevocable
    2. to get married

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Other Words From

  • re·plunge verb replunged replunging noun
  • un·plunged adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of plunge1

1325–75; Middle English < Middle French plung ( i ) er Vulgar Latin *plumbicāre to heave the lead. See plumb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of plunge1

C14: from Old French plongier, from Vulgar Latin plumbicāre (unattested) to sound with a plummet, from Latin plumbum lead

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. take the plunge, to enter with sudden decision upon an unfamiliar course of action, as after hesitation or deliberation:

    She took the plunge and invested her entire savings in the plan.

More idioms and phrases containing plunge

see take the plunge .

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Synonym Study

See dip 1.

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Example Sentences

We got our feet wet, literally, with Hike Maui and guide Gail Rice, who led us through gushing streambeds and ultimately to a plunge into a waterfall-fed pool.

That’s why diamonds form after carbon takes a plunge inside Earth.

The rapid plunge has triggered all kinds of warnings about how low it could go.

From Fortune

We already saw air pollution plunge in San Diego when stay-at-home orders were fresh and feared.

Indeed, after a record-fast plunge into a bear market in March, stocks have managed to completely recover and are currently trading around all-time highs, up 14% for the year at Tuesday’s close.

From Fortune

Cocker, for his part, worked briefly as an apprentice gasfitter but decided to take the plunge into the world of commercial music.

And nobody expected oil prices to plunge so quickly, either.

So, with good ideas in the air, we plunge into one of the knottier sections of the story.

The vote on Sunday could take Ukraine toward a modern functioning democracy or plunge it back into a cesspool of corruption.

Stewart took the plunge in response to Matt Lauer's televised Today Show challenge.

Terror drives you on; fate coerces you; you can't help yourself, and my delight is to make the plunge terrible.

We met like hostile bulls, and wonder not that we should plunge at once upon each other's horns!

To elucidate this it is necessary to plunge into the jungle of pure economic theory.

But the sailors plunge into the very fire itself; entering the houses, they strive to rescue the contents until the roofs fall in.

At last the vessel gave a plunge and roll which seemed to many of those on board as though it must certainly be her last.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




plunderageplunge basin