View synonyms for plunger


[ pluhn-jer ]


  1. Machinery. a pistonlike reciprocating part moving within the cylinder of a pump or hydraulic device.
  2. Automotive. a pistonlike part in the valve of a pneumatic tire.
  3. Also called force cup, a device consisting of a handle with a rubber suction cup at one end, used as a force pump to free clogged drains and toilet traps.
  4. a person or thing that plunges.
  5. a reckless bettor or speculator.


/ ˈplʌndʒə /


  1. a rubber suction cup fixed to the end of a rod, used to clear blocked drains
  2. a device or part of a machine that has a plunging or thrusting motion; piston
  3. informal.
    a reckless gambler
“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

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of plunger1

First recorded in 1605–15; plunge + -er 1
Discover More

Example Sentences

The casing and plunger materials may break or bend if they’re not used carefully.

As you depress the plunger, it presses a plate and whisks through the milk to aerate it.

A sturdy build lets you put muscle power behind the plunger without damaging it.

Functionality aside, the lacquered bamboo shaft is also infinitely more aesthetic than the generically lathed handle on your typical plunger.

Founder Andrew Beckler hatched the idea after an employee fitted a ski-pole grip onto the shop plunger.

You can draw the plunger up and down and it looks as if the blood is mixing with the liquid.

Trying to pull the plunger back would snap the ring and effectively break the syringe.

It is a cast-iron plunger-pole, over the shaft, of 33 inches diameter, 10-feet stroke.

The unsupported pump-rods fell downwards, setting in upward motion the column of water in the plunger-pole pumps.

I have made the plunger-case and steam-vessel of wrought iron ¾ of an inch thick.

The valve open while the plunger-pole ascended 20 inches, then went the remainder of the 10-feet stroke expansive.

The function of this plunger is to provide a resistance in addition to that of the air valve spring to assist in acceleration.


Related Words




plunge poolplunging fire