Definition of plunge in English:

plunge

verb

  • 1no object, with adverbial Jump or dive quickly and energetically.

    ‘our little daughters whooped as they plunged into the sea’
    • ‘Last New Year, police praised Thomas after he and another man plunged into the icy River Foss to save the life of a woman who had jumped from Foss Bridge in Fossgate.’
    • ‘She dove, a beautiful swan dive, and plunged into the crystal clear, saltwater pool.’
    • ‘The right posture not only helps avoid a sore back, it also means better control of the raft by the team as a whole - especially important when you start plunging through rapids.’
    • ‘I watched as two police divers plunged into the frigid East River and quickly collected the corpse.’
    • ‘The Inferno, the biggest amateur race in the world, will see 1,800 daredevils plunge down the 15.8km course.’
    • ‘After landing on a stretch of white beach, we plunged into the forest along a well-cleared path, which made me wonder how many hunters use this area.’
    • ‘Fire fighters plunged into the burning house but did not find the old couple who were found hidden under the bed after the fire was extinguished a half-hour later.’
    • ‘Gabrielle had a sudden urge to plunge into the cool lake like before.’
    • ‘They plunge into the coastal waters from small boats.’
    • ‘We all jumped off the runners of the helicopter, and plunged into the water.’
    • ‘And then he turned up at Whitley Bay in full scuba-diving gear, and plunged into the icy North Sea to promote World Ocean Day, only to be almost knocked off his feet by a giant wave.’
    • ‘The dog jumped out of Gareth's arms and plunged into the canal where he made his way under a mooring jetty.’
    • ‘Around 12 firefighters pulled on breathing apparatus and plunged into the thick smoke to find the seat of the blaze.’
    • ‘She was running at full speed, glancing behind every few seconds, before plunging ahead with even greater speed.’
    jump, dive, hurl oneself, throw oneself, fling oneself, launch oneself, catapult oneself, cast oneself, pitch oneself
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Fall suddenly and uncontrollably.
      ‘a car swerved to avoid a bus and plunged into a ravine’
      • ‘Children who had plunged 30 feet off the bridge floundered in the muddy waters, trying to reach dry land.’
      • ‘He took the narrow bridge too quickly and the car crashed through the bridge and plunged into Poucha Pond, landing upside down under the water.’
      • ‘Children and adults alike were screaming as we were thrown around the sharp corners and plunged down the deep falls.’
      • ‘The West African nation plunged into new turmoil when government forces launched a new offensive against rebels in the north.’
      • ‘Seven passengers aboard a sight-seeing helicopter survive when it plunged into New York's East River just after takeoff.’
      • ‘The Coast Guard is continuing the search for six missing crewmembers who plunged into the sea Wednesday during a rescue attempt.’
      • ‘Consumer confidence plummeted and government intervention appeared to have only cosmetic effect as the global economy plunged into deep recession.’
      • ‘A walker who plunged 100 feet down a Lakeland mountainside - suffering serious head injuries - is making a remarkable recovery.’
      • ‘In Florida, some brave passengers saved their bus from plunging almost 200 feet into the water.’
      • ‘The aircraft made several circles before suddenly plunging into the sea with its lights out.’
      • ‘For him, the country has already plunged into civil war.’
      • ‘Sweden, which plunged into financial crises in the early 1990s, has re-invented its famed social model in the past decade.’
      • ‘I did not want them plunged into hardship and so I allowed them to take the two days' holiday pay at the beginning of the dispute.’
      • ‘He admits that at the beginning of this year, worried about his health, and genuinely feeling he might die, he plunged into a deep depression.’
      • ‘It then hit the side of a bridge before plunging into the eight-meter-deep ravine.’
      • ‘Two officers drove off a drawbridge last night and plunged 40 feet into the river.’
      • ‘Six minutes and forty seconds after the launch the rocket plunged into the ocean and the test was over.’
      • ‘Yet, the household seemed to have plunged into gloom.’
      • ‘The rushing water left a hole about 20 metres deep and 40 metres wide in a road near Salem, and a car that plunged into the crater landed on its top in a creek.’
      • ‘With the country once again plunged into political turmoil, Rudd's insights should prove disturbingly relevant.’
      crash, plummet, pitch, drop, fall, fall headlong, tumble, nosedive, take a nosedive, crash-dive, descend
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    2. 1.2 Embark impetuously on a speech or course of action.
      ‘he came to a decision, and plunged on before he had time to reconsider it’
      • ‘These limits seemed to threaten the success of the family's on-farm store, but they plunged ahead.’
      • ‘If they foresee a need for help, they check an the availability of other people before plunging ahead.’
      • ‘He hesitated, surprised by her words, but plunged ahead.’
      • ‘He may claim to plunge into ventures just because they seem as if they might be fun, but there's usually much more calculation to it than that.’
      • ‘And he plunged ahead without understanding or preparing for the consequences of the post-war.’
      • ‘Veronica opened her mouth to say something, but Raven plunged ahead and cut her off.’
      • ‘Why is the U.S. blindly plunging ahead with such a potentially disastrous and outmoded concept?’
      • ‘Rather than saying that he would exact bloody vengeance, he plunged into a monologue about the need to convene a hemispheric summit on drug abuse.’
      • ‘The student may be tempted to plunge ahead with a topic and see what emerges.’
      • ‘In fact, more than plunging into new newspaper ventures, Black appears to be getting out of the business.’
      • ‘The best thing about these mini games is that they don't distract from the main quest, they're there if you want them, but easily ignored if you want to keep on plunging ahead.’
      • ‘Yes, but we need research before we plunge in - this isn't simple stuff.’
      • ‘He paused for a moment, and then plunged on ahead.’
      • ‘Taking a deep breath, he plunged on with his speech.’
      • ‘She took a deep breath and plunged on with her practiced speech.’
      • ‘When initially plunging into a project, Alex circumvents storyboards and goes straight to the computer.’
      • ‘He flinched under my glare, but plunged on, entering my simple trap.’
      • ‘You should also do research before plunging into any new situation.’
      begin, start, commence, undertake, set about, enter on, go into, take up
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    3. 1.3 Suffer a rapid decrease in value.
      ‘shares in the company plunged 18p on news that profits had fallen’
      • ‘With stock markets plunging, people have ploughed their money into property; others have remortgaged their existing homes to give them more cash to spend, fuelling consumer spending.’
      • ‘Once the demand for oil is replaced by a demand for another commodity, the current land value of Saudi Arabia may plunge to nearly zero.’
      • ‘The firm's stockmarket value has now plunged to just £50M.’
      • ‘The company's market value has plunged to $273 million from $145 billion at the end of 1999.’
      • ‘The group plunged into the red for the first time in its history with a net loss of £1.7m and said it was selling its private client and fund administration businesses.’
      • ‘To add to fund managers' misery, in 2001, the stock market plunged rapidly, dramatically reducing the value of their investments.’
      • ‘A company's stock price could plunge when earnings fall, but its bonds could remain hot if it has a strong enough revenue stream to service its debt.’
      • ‘Six split capital trusts have plunged in value by 40% and more in the past month alone.’
      • ‘Commissions got bidded up and up and the value offered to consumers plunged.’
      • ‘The value of those properties plunged 64.6 per cent to HK $4.61 billion.’
      • ‘And good news, plunging rent levels mean even more can move in.’
      • ‘We all suffered to some degree and the consequence of that: the country suffered because the economy plunged.’
      • ‘The transfer market is plunging in value, wages are being depressed and more and more footballers are finding themselves unemployed.’
      • ‘The news resulted in their share value plunging 50%.’
      • ‘It has become apparent that some homes are considerably more vulnerable to flooding than others, and these are not just riverside properties - whose value is expected to plunge.’
      • ‘Most investors have borrowed money with stocks as collateral, which means as prices plunge, the value of collateral go down as well.’
      • ‘In the ensuing recession both the stock market and land values plunged to alarmingly low levels, unseen in many years.’
      • ‘Company officials, according to widely reported allegations, forced employees to hold on to their stock as its value plunged in October and November.’
      • ‘The dollar, according to some reports, could plunge by as much as 40 per cent in value.’
      • ‘Another day of global volatility on the markets saw share values plunge, with the Irish stock market now down €30 billion since January.’
      fall sharply, fall steeply, plummet, drop rapidly, go down, tumble, sink, slump
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    4. 1.4 (of a ship) pitch.
      ‘the ship plunged through the 20-foot seas’
      • ‘It proved necessary to row ashore in a small dinghy, plunging through the hot spray past a Turkish battleship that had been moored for so long that the coral had grown up around it, immobilising it forever.’
      • ‘This meant climbing to the top of the 80 ft mast in a safety harness, with the yacht plunging in gusts of wind and a choppy sea, and holding on for dear life for five hours while she attached a spare halyard.’
      • ‘Cresting over the back of a wave, the boat plunges into a trough and rides up the back of another swell, crashing through into another trough.’
      • ‘We were at the front of the boat, and that ensured we had a true shower when the boat plunged the watery depths.’
      lurch, pitch, roll, reel, toss about, keel, list, wallow, labour, flounder, make heavy weather
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    5. 1.5no object (of a horse) rear violently.
      ‘the frightened horse plunged and bolted’
      • ‘Pierce's horse, Arinex, was tied even more tightly, his head high as he reared and plunged, trying to get free.’
      • ‘With a wild neigh, Andaril reared and plunged through the circle of guards and archers, their arrows useless.’
      • ‘After a time, Monseigneur hears a loud cry, and the horses rear and plunge.’
      • ‘But the third time the terror was so strong that it transmitted itself to my horse, and I could barely stay in the saddle for her plunging and rearing and fighting to return home.’
      • ‘It was all a mad swirl, a crazed delirium of plunging horses and shouts in the darkness, but somehow they formed a line.’
  • 2with object and adverbial Push or thrust quickly.

    ‘he plunged his hands into his pockets’
    • ‘I was plunged into the water among dark shadows with occasional shafts of light.’
    • ‘Ms Telford said the government was trying its hardest to raise aspirations amongst people from low-income backgrounds, but was only dashing their hopes by plunging them into tens of thousands of pounds of debt.’
    • ‘The Liberal Democrats warned that forcing people to save for their retirement could plunge many further into financial difficulty.’
    • ‘They also feed visually by capturing prey from the surface of mud or water, by plunging their heads into water, and by snatching insects from the air.’
    • ‘Take the tip of a large knife and quickly and firmly plunge the knife downwards through this cross.’
    • ‘The minstrel quickly plunged the burning metal rod in the soldier's face.’
    • ‘The results were disastrous, plunging the country into deep depression, with high unemployment, sharply falling living standards and serious political unrest.’
    • ‘What this means is that journalists need to forewarn people of the dangers of certain words and actions that carry the potential of plunging their communities or the nation into chaos.’
    • ‘With the warrior dazed, he quickly plunges his sword into his exposed chest.’
    • ‘He got as close as he could before plunging his gloved hand quickly into the center of the smoking embers, and drawing out a long blackened object.’
    • ‘Then, he knelt down and very quickly plunged the knife into it, and edged it around to make a large slit.’
    • ‘China could always recall its debts, crippling the US and plunging the entire world into a black depression (economically speaking).’
    • ‘Suddenly the bird plunges its head into the water to catch the fish in its bill crosswise. Then, if the fish is less than one half the length of its bill, it swallows it whole after manipulating it to go down its throat headfirst.’
    • ‘He accidentally dropped the stick into the fire and plunged his arm into the flames to retrieve it.’
    • ‘He tipped the vial over and plunged the needle into it, sucking out the liquid.’
    • ‘He plunges his hands under the faucet, splashing water over his face.’
    • ‘If you don't, you risk plunging yourself into the kind of doubt and uncertainty that only strenuous mental exertion can deal with and that's just the thing that busy people like yourself need to avoid.’
    • ‘She thrust his trench coat at him and gratefully plunged her hands into the cool and cleansing water.’
    • ‘Turning on the cold water, I plunged my hands into it, and splashed it upon my face.’
    • ‘The coalition alleges that the cuts to bursaries will plunge students into high levels of debt by forcing them to rely more heavily on student loans to finance their education.’
    • ‘Suddenly reminded, Alexia plunged her hand into her apron pocket, and drew out a small jam-jar wrapped with paper.’
    • ‘‘Animals eat this stuff, but it's all I have to take home to them,’ she says, plunging her hands into the bag and pulling out bunches of grass and weed.’
    thrust, stick, ram, drive, jab, stab, push, shove, force, sink
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    1. 2.1 Quickly immerse in liquid.
      ‘to peel fruit, cover with boiling water and then plunge them into iced water’
      • ‘Pierce the skin at the other end, then plunge it into boiling water.’
      • ‘If using fresh tomatoes, plunge them into boiling water for 30 seconds, then pop in cold water, enabling you to peel the skins away.’
      • ‘If any plants are dry, plunge the whole pot in a bowl of water and wait until no more bubbles appear.’
      • ‘They first dunk the tissue in a simple solution of ethylene glycol and buffered saline, and then chill the samples by plunging them into liquid nitrogen.’
      • ‘Although peeling isn't essential because this variety has a rather thin skin, it is an easy matter to plunge them into boiling water, drain and then slip off the skins.’
      • ‘A handy tip is to plunge the small onions into boiling water for a minute before peeling them to make the job a lot easier.’
      • ‘To cook the quail's eggs, drop the eggs into boiling water for three and a half minutes and then plunge them into iced water to halt the cooking process.’
      • ‘Immediately, while the glass is still hot, plunge it into cold water.’
      • ‘Shorn of their roots, the leaves can be plunged briefly into boiling water then either into a pan of hot butter and black pepper or shaken with some walnut or olive oil.’
      • ‘After a few minutes, he lifted the piece of metal off the anvil with a pair of tongs and plunged it into a bucket of water near by.’
      • ‘Similarly, plunging food into boiling hot oil or water destroys vitamins.’
      • ‘He slaps some sticky tape over the opening to seal it, takes a deep breath, then plunges it into a bowl of cold water.’
      • ‘Blanch the lettuces by plunging them into boiling water for 3 minutes (put the lid on the pan as soon as the lettuces go in, to help the water come back to the boil as quickly as possible).’
      • ‘Using rubber gloves, put nettles in two litres of salted boiling water for a second to remove the sting then plunge them into iced water.’
      • ‘Then the tissue is plunged into liquid nitrogen, at 190C below zero.’
      • ‘The pastas are also freshly made, with fettuccine, angel hair and spinach ravioli all waiting to be plunged into boiling water at a guest's command.’
      • ‘It's tempting, when they are this fresh and crisp, to do nothing more than plunge them into boiling water, and serve them up in great piles, unadorned and tasting only of themselves.’
      immerse, submerge, sink, dip, dunk, douse, duck
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    2. 2.2 Suddenly bring into a specified condition or state.
      ‘for a moment the scene was illuminated, then it was plunged back into darkness’
      • ‘The sudden turn of events plunged Taiwan into crisis.’
      • ‘Earlier this year, yobs plunged the pathway into darkness by attacking lighting bollards.’
      • ‘At 9 p.m., an electrical transformer blew up, plunging the neighborhood into darkness.’
      • ‘The army positioned snipers on rooftops, witnesses said, and fired a tank shell at an electricity transformer, plunging the camp into darkness.’
      • ‘Suddenly the room was plunged into darkness - his computer had finished shutting down.’
      • ‘Suddenly, without any warning, the entire room was plunged into darkness, and I could no longer feel my girlfriend's hand.’
      • ‘The overhead light in the room suddenly switched off, plunging the room in darkness.’
      • ‘Passengers described the terror felt after the train smashed into a car at a level crossing in Berkshire and was plunged into sudden darkness.’
      • ‘The power cut, which plunged High Street into darkness, was caused by a fuse failure at a nearby sub station.’
      • ‘The ship was plunged into total darkness as the engines drained power from everything except themselves and life support.’
      • ‘Quick-thinking organisers plunged the stage into darkness to protect the star's modesty.’
      • ‘Those tough conditions plunged the company into an interim net loss compared to a small profit last year.’
      • ‘A sudden crisis plunges the family into doubt and despair.’
      • ‘My eyelids didn't want to stay open, and I shluffed the note off to my bedside table and quickly turned off my light, plunging my room into blackness.’
      • ‘Then suddenly they were plunged into darkness once again.’
      • ‘In another place, an overloaded circuit breaker tripped, plunging a corridor into sudden darkness.’
      • ‘The overhead lights suddenly switched off, plunging the café into the semi-darkness of the automatic nightlights.’
      • ‘She instinctively reached for it, but the river suddenly swept her over the edge of the waterfall, plunging her into a darkness, and then suddenly and sharply into wakefulness.’
      • ‘Suddenly, all flashlights began flickering before going dead, plunging the girls into darkness.’
      • ‘Recently my mother gave me a book of her recipes where I found foods I've not had since I was a child - it suddenly plunged me back into childhood.’
      throw, cast, pitch
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    3. 2.3with object Sink (a pot containing a plant) in the ground.
      ‘pot up and plunge spring-flowering bulbs’
      • ‘I have potted up the surviving plants and then plunged the pots back into the windowboxes.’
      • ‘After Christmas, reverse the process and plunge the pot into the ground until the following year’

noun

  • 1An act of jumping or diving into water.

    ‘fanatics went straight from the hot room to take a cold plunge’
    • ‘Windy, cool and empty, its vast spaces were as refreshing as a plunge into cold water.’
    • ‘It misstepped making its getaway and performed a spectacular cartwheeling plunge into the water between our canoes.’
    • ‘As a Royal Navy diver he made perilous plunges to help clear sunken warships which were causing hazardous obstructions and in 1942 he suffered a burst right eardrum as a result.’
    • ‘At 6 o'clock, roused by the réveille, we scurry to the bath-room, take the prescribed cold plunge, and then dress.’
    • ‘Before she could make the final plunge, though, she heard someone behind her.’
    • ‘An optional after-dinner extra is a lounge in the sauna followed by a quick plunge in the icy water of the lake.’
    • ‘I turned and watched as the Sea Maiden continued her downward plunge into darkness.’
    • ‘The rough footpath passes dangerously close to the edge of some of these gorges, and a slip on the muddy trail could well mean a headlong plunge into the boiling waters below.’
    jump, dive
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    1. 1.1 A swift and drastic fall in value or amount.
      ‘the central bank declared a 76% plunge in its profits’
      • ‘His comments followed a plunge in first half profits from €13.5 million to 7m before tax and exceptional items.’
      • ‘A hallmark of the newly christened recession has been a plunge in venture-capital spending.’
      • ‘The company fell into financial trouble as a result of the plunge in the Thai baht in mid-1997, which made its debt burden soar.’
      • ‘Newcastle experienced a plunge from 141 to 113.’
      • ‘Carp are still on the move on Doe Hey Reservoir despite the recent plunge in temperatures.’
      • ‘The high borrowings that led to plunges in the value of many trusts are now working to their advantage with the return of confidence to the stock market in recent months.’
      • ‘The point is that falling prices are simply not the cause of a plunge in profits and increase in the burden of debt.’
      • ‘Assets fell 3.4 percent in the third quarter, mostly due to a 17 percent plunge in the value of stock and mutual funds holdings.’
      • ‘Of particular concern has been the plunge in the value of insurance companies on solvency worries.’
      • ‘The news follows a major review by Glanbia of its operation following indications of a major plunge in sales from next month.’
      • ‘A sharp plunge in the dollar would dramatically reduce the value of these assets, reducing the wealth of foreign investors.’
      • ‘It alleges they breached their duties and wants creditors to be compensated for the company's plunge in value before it finally collapsed in May last year.’
      • ‘Not that he is jumping at joy at the recent plunge in our growth rate from 11% to near zero.’
      • ‘He experienced the worst plunge into unpopularity of any President of the Fifth Republic in his first year of office.’
      • ‘An overnight plunge in commodity prices sent the Australian dollar tumbling to a five month low and currency dealers believe there's more falls to come.’
      • ‘At the height of the rush to stock festive Christmas tables, German butchers have reported plunges of up to 90% in sales of beef and sausages, as poultry and horse meat prices have surged.’
      • ‘Thus, IT firms were left with huge inventories and massive amounts of excess capacity, which triggered a plunge in IT-sector growth.’
      • ‘Given the plunge in the value of Wolfson after its profits warning, that looks like a courageous statement.’
      • ‘It is believed he was under the water for at least two minutes, causing him to take in a lot of water and making his temperature plunge.’
      • ‘The central bank attributed the steady plunge of the gross national savings rate to a rapid fall of savings in the household sector.’
      fall, drop, tumble, slump
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Phrases

  • take the plunge

    • informal Commit oneself to a course of action about which one is nervous.

      ‘she wondered whether to enter for the race, but decided to take the plunge’
      • ‘I was skeptical at first but I eventually decided to take the plunge.’
      • ‘But before you take the plunge, make sure you're ready to commit for the long haul.’
      • ‘He's been practising for five years and is finally taking the plunge and starting a course in Sheffield before beginning his circus act.’
      • ‘There was a lot of positive feed back on the course from all the participants with at least two taking the plunge to sell at markets as a result of the training.’
      • ‘For a number of years, Anne cooked at the restaurant in the heritage centre but last year took the plunge and opened her own restaurant and delicatessen.’
      • ‘Years later Noreen took the plunge and opened her own business, designing and making wedding gowns and formal wear on her own from a one room premises.’
      • ‘When clients started asking if she offered the treatment, she decided to take the plunge and practise on a few nervous friends.’
      • ‘He also decided to take the plunge and set up his own business.’
      • ‘I put it off two years in a row - because it would take too much time away from golf, or so I said - and then last spring I finally took the plunge.’
      • ‘In Swindon, councillors waited to see which way neighbouring local education authorities were going to move on the issue before they took the plunge and made their decision last autumn.’
      commit oneself, go for it, throw caution to the wind, throw caution to the winds, give it one's all, give it all one has, go all out
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Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French plungier ‘thrust down’, based on Latin plumbum ‘lead, plummet’.

Pronunciation

plunge

/plʌn(d)ʒ/