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’
    • ‘I watched as two police divers plunged into the frigid East River and quickly collected the corpse.’
    • ‘The dog jumped out of Gareth's arms and plunged into the canal where he made his way under a mooring jetty.’
    • ‘She was running at full speed, glancing behind every few seconds, before plunging ahead with even greater speed.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We all jumped off the runners of the helicopter, and plunged into the water.’
    • ‘Around 12 firefighters pulled on breathing apparatus and plunged into the thick smoke to find the seat of the blaze.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She dove, a beautiful swan dive, and plunged into the crystal clear, saltwater pool.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Gabrielle had a sudden urge to plunge into the cool lake like before.’
    • ‘They plunge into the coastal waters from small boats.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Inferno, the biggest amateur race in the world, will see 1,800 daredevils plunge down the 15.8km course.’
    jump, dive, hurl oneself, throw oneself, fling oneself, launch oneself, catapult oneself, cast oneself, pitch oneself
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    1. 1.1 Fall suddenly and uncontrollably.
      ‘a car swerved to avoid a bus and plunged into a ravine’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For him, the country has already plunged into civil war.’
      • ‘The West African nation plunged into new turmoil when government forces launched a new offensive against rebels in the north.’
      • ‘Two officers drove off a drawbridge last night and plunged 40 feet into the river.’
      • ‘Seven passengers aboard a sight-seeing helicopter survive when it plunged into New York's East River just after takeoff.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The aircraft made several circles before suddenly plunging into the sea with its lights out.’
      • ‘In Florida, some brave passengers saved their bus from plunging almost 200 feet into the water.’
      • ‘A walker who plunged 100 feet down a Lakeland mountainside - suffering serious head injuries - is making a remarkable recovery.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It then hit the side of a bridge before plunging into the eight-meter-deep ravine.’
      • ‘Sweden, which plunged into financial crises in the early 1990s, has re-invented its famed social model in the past decade.’
      • ‘Six minutes and forty seconds after the launch the rocket plunged into the ocean and the test was over.’
      • ‘Children who had plunged 30 feet off the bridge floundered in the muddy waters, trying to reach dry land.’
      • ‘Yet, the household seemed to have plunged into gloom.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘With the country once again plunged into political turmoil, Rudd's insights should prove disturbingly relevant.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Children and adults alike were screaming as we were thrown around the sharp corners and plunged down the deep falls.’
      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’
      • ‘He flinched under my glare, but plunged on, entering my simple trap.’
      • ‘When initially plunging into a project, Alex circumvents storyboards and goes straight to the computer.’
      • ‘She took a deep breath and plunged on with her practiced speech.’
      • ‘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 hesitated, surprised by her words, but plunged ahead.’
      • ‘These limits seemed to threaten the success of the family's on-farm store, but they plunged ahead.’
      • ‘In fact, more than plunging into new newspaper ventures, Black appears to be getting out of the business.’
      • ‘You should also do research before plunging into any new situation.’
      • ‘If they foresee a need for help, they check an the availability of other people before plunging ahead.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Why is the U.S. blindly plunging ahead with such a potentially disastrous and outmoded concept?’
      • ‘He paused for a moment, and then plunged on ahead.’
      • ‘The student may be tempted to plunge ahead with a topic and see what emerges.’
      • ‘Taking a deep breath, he plunged on with his speech.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
      • ‘The transfer market is plunging in value, wages are being depressed and more and more footballers are finding themselves unemployed.’
      • ‘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 dollar, according to some reports, could plunge by as much as 40 per cent in value.’
      • ‘Company officials, according to widely reported allegations, forced employees to hold on to their stock as its value plunged in October and November.’
      • ‘Six split capital trusts have plunged in value by 40% and more in the past month alone.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Another day of global volatility on the markets saw share values plunge, with the Irish stock market now down €30 billion since January.’
      • ‘And good news, plunging rent levels mean even more can move in.’
      • ‘To add to fund managers' misery, in 2001, the stock market plunged rapidly, dramatically reducing the value of their investments.’
      • ‘We all suffered to some degree and the consequence of that: the country suffered because the economy plunged.’
      • ‘Commissions got bidded up and up and the value offered to consumers plunged.’
      • ‘Most investors have borrowed money with stocks as collateral, which means as prices plunge, the value of collateral go down as well.’
      • ‘The value of those properties plunged 64.6 per cent to HK $4.61 billion.’
      • ‘The firm's stockmarket value has now plunged to just £50M.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the ensuing recession both the stock market and land values plunged to alarmingly low levels, unseen in many years.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The news resulted in their share value plunging 50%.’
      • ‘The company's market value has plunged to $273 million from $145 billion at the end of 1999.’
      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’
      • ‘We were at the front of the boat, and that ensured we had a true shower when the boat plunged the watery depths.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
      • ‘After a time, Monseigneur hears a loud cry, and the horses rear and plunge.’
      • ‘It was all a mad swirl, a crazed delirium of plunging horses and shouts in the darkness, but somehow they formed a line.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2with object and adverbial Push or thrust quickly.

    ‘he plunged his hands into his pockets’
    • ‘Take the tip of a large knife and quickly and firmly plunge the knife downwards through this cross.’
    • ‘I was plunged into the water among dark shadows with occasional shafts of light.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He plunges his hands under the faucet, splashing water over his face.’
    • ‘The Liberal Democrats warned that forcing people to save for their retirement could plunge many further into financial difficulty.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Then, he knelt down and very quickly plunged the knife into it, and edged it around to make a large slit.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘China could always recall its debts, crippling the US and plunging the entire world into a black depression (economically speaking).’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The minstrel quickly plunged the burning metal rod in the soldier's face.’
    • ‘Suddenly reminded, Alexia plunged her hand into her apron pocket, and drew out a small jam-jar wrapped with paper.’
    • ‘The results were disastrous, plunging the country into deep depression, with high unemployment, sharply falling living standards and serious political unrest.’
    • ‘He accidentally dropped the stick into the fire and plunged his arm into the flames to retrieve it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He tipped the vial over and plunged the needle into it, sucking out the liquid.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘With the warrior dazed, he quickly plunges his sword into his exposed chest.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He slaps some sticky tape over the opening to seal it, takes a deep breath, then plunges it into a bowl of cold 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Immediately, while the glass is still hot, plunge it into cold water.’
      • ‘If any plants are dry, plunge the whole pot in a bowl of water and wait until no more bubbles appear.’
      • ‘Similarly, plunging food into boiling hot oil or water destroys vitamins.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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).’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Pierce the skin at the other end, then plunge it into boiling water.’
      • ‘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.’
      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.’
      • ‘A sudden crisis plunges the family into doubt and despair.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 overhead light in the room suddenly switched off, plunging the room in darkness.’
      • ‘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, without any warning, the entire room was plunged into darkness, and I could no longer feel my girlfriend's hand.’
      • ‘The army positioned snipers on rooftops, witnesses said, and fired a tank shell at an electricity transformer, plunging the camp into darkness.’
      • ‘At 9 p.m., an electrical transformer blew up, plunging the neighborhood into darkness.’
      • ‘Earlier this year, yobs plunged the pathway into darkness by attacking lighting bollards.’
      • ‘Suddenly the room was plunged into darkness - his computer had finished shutting down.’
      • ‘The ship was plunged into total darkness as the engines drained power from everything except themselves and life support.’
      • ‘The power cut, which plunged High Street into darkness, was caused by a fuse failure at a nearby sub station.’
      • ‘Suddenly, all flashlights began flickering before going dead, plunging the girls into darkness.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The overhead lights suddenly switched off, plunging the café into the semi-darkness of the automatic nightlights.’
      • ‘In another place, an overloaded circuit breaker tripped, plunging a corridor into sudden darkness.’
      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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I turned and watched as the Sea Maiden continued her downward plunge into darkness.’
    • ‘An optional after-dinner extra is a lounge in the sauna followed by a quick plunge in the icy water of the lake.’
    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’
      • ‘Carp are still on the move on Doe Hey Reservoir despite the recent plunge in temperatures.’
      • ‘The news follows a major review by Glanbia of its operation following indications of a major plunge in sales from next month.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A hallmark of the newly christened recession has been a plunge in venture-capital spending.’
      • ‘His comments followed a plunge in first half profits from €13.5 million to 7m before tax and exceptional items.’
      • ‘A sharp plunge in the dollar would dramatically reduce the value of these assets, reducing the wealth of foreign investors.’
      • ‘Of particular concern has been the plunge in the value of insurance companies on solvency worries.’
      • ‘Thus, IT firms were left with huge inventories and massive amounts of excess capacity, which triggered a plunge in IT-sector growth.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 point is that falling prices are simply not the cause of a plunge in profits and increase in the burden of debt.’
      • ‘Given the plunge in the value of Wolfson after its profits warning, that looks like a courageous statement.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Newcastle experienced a plunge from 141 to 113.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The central bank attributed the steady plunge of the gross national savings rate to a rapid fall of savings in the household sector.’
      • ‘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.’
      fall, drop, tumble, slump
      View synonyms

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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He's been practising for five years and is finally taking the plunge and starting a course in Sheffield before beginning his circus act.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He also decided to take the plunge and set up his own business.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I was skeptical at first but I eventually decided to take the plunge.’
      • ‘When clients started asking if she offered the treatment, she decided to take the plunge and practise on a few nervous friends.’
      • ‘But before you take the plunge, make sure you're ready to commit for the long haul.’
      • ‘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/