verb (used with object), plunged, plung·ing.

verb (used without object), plunged, plung·ing.


Nearby words

  1. plumule,
  2. plumulose,
  3. plumy,
  4. plunder,
  5. plunderage,
  6. plunge basin,
  7. plunge bath,
  8. plunge pool,
  9. plunger,
  10. plunging


    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.

Origin of plunge

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

Related formsre·plunge, verb, re·plunged, re·plung·ing; nounun·plunged, adjective

Synonym study

1. See dip1. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for take the plunge



(usually foll by into) to thrust or throw (something, oneself, etc)they plunged into the sea
to throw or be thrown into a certain state or conditionthe room was plunged into darkness
(usually foll by into) to involve or become involved deeply (in)he plunged himself into a course of Sanskrit
(intr) to move or dash violently or with great speed or impetuosity
(intr) to descend very suddenly or steeplythe ship plunged in heavy seas; a plunging neckline
(intr) informal to speculate or gamble recklessly, for high stakes, etc


a leap or dive as into water
informal a swim; dip
mainly US a place where one can swim or dive, such as a swimming pool
a headlong rusha plunge for the exit
a pitching or tossing motion
take the plunge informal
  1. to resolve to do something dangerous or irrevocable
  2. to get married

Word Origin for plunge

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

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 take the plunge
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with take the plunge

take the plunge

Venture something, commit oneself, as in You've been living together for a year, so when are you going to take the plunge and get married? It is also put as make the plunge, plunge alluding to diving in a body of water. [Mid-1800s]


see take the plunge.

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