Definition of plummet in US English:



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  • 1Fall or drop straight down at high speed.

    ‘a climber was killed when he plummeted 300 feet down an icy gully’
    • ‘A car careered off a cliff-top road in North Yorkshire, plummeting 100 feet and seriously injuring its York driver.’
    • ‘Without warning, he dropped straight down, plummeting toward the ground far below.’
    • ‘The construction fell apart as it plummeted down to the dark ground far below.’
    • ‘I'm standing on the edge of a 375-foot bridge, ready to plummet toward the water with nothing but a cord keeping me from impact.’
    • ‘When he was halfway through, his foot slipped and he plummeted into the river.’
    • ‘He said the woman had clipped the near-side kerb and left the road, plummeting at least 200 feet down the ravine.’
    • ‘A window cleaner plummeted to his death after falling from a block of flats.’
    • ‘The water plunges through a gap in the rock more than 100 feet up, plummeting into a round pool surrounded by a sand beach.’
    • ‘Requiring nerves of steel, speed sky diving involves plummeting from a plane at more than 300 mph.’
    • ‘Your acts may get you killed, in fact the entire aircraft may plummet to the earth, killing everyone on board.’
    • ‘If he fell, he would plummet 60 feet straight down onto the jumble of boulders strewn at the base.’
    • ‘The falls emerge from a cave, shoot over a cliff, and plummet 110 feet before disappearing into another chasm.’
    • ‘Kate fiddled with her seatbelt for a minute, trying to work out exactly how the thin piece of blue material was supposed to save her life if the plane began to plummet twenty-five thousand feet towards the ground.’
    • ‘A Morecambe teenager was airlifted to hospital after plummeting 30 feet onto rocks from a cliff.’
    • ‘Starting to gain speed at the end of the hill, she plummeted into a giant stack of rolled up hay.’
    • ‘Either side, water plummets over the dizzying drop in great cascading sheets, crashing down on the rocks far below.’
    • ‘The bus winds around hair-pin corners on the cliffs overlooking the sea with such break-neck speed that I thought for sure the bus would eventually plummet off the side of the cliff and into the sea!’
    plunge, fall headlong, hurtle, nosedive, dive, drop, crash, descend rapidly
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    1. 1.1 Decrease rapidly in value or amount.
      ‘hardware sales plummeted’
      • ‘She said she knew of people whose property values had plummeted, and others who had been deterred from moving to the area as a result of the threat.’
      • ‘The quantity of money circulating in the local economy would suddenly plummet, killing off what remains of local economic life and services.’
      • ‘But they warned that temperatures were set to plummet, with snow falling on higher ground.’
      • ‘Shareholders saw their holdings plummet in value soon after the launch.’
      • ‘After seeing the value of their savings plummet in recent months, policyholders will finally get a chance to raise their concerns at the annual general meeting - and there are likely to be many.’
      • ‘The sale was abruptly halted, the value of the painting plummeted and the they decided to sue.’
      • ‘Day-time temperatures are frequently in the low twenties centigrade but, once night falls, they plummet to minus ten or even below that in a matter of minutes.’
      • ‘She said the value of houses has plummeted so low landlords are able to buy property at rock bottom cost and then rent them out for profit.’
      • ‘I don't see the point of spending in the region of £15,000 on a brand new car that'll plummet in value by as much as a third in its first year.’
      • ‘They say their sales have plummeted in the last few days as they struggle to restore their reputations.’
      • ‘The value of the group has plummeted from more than £1bn to just under £100m today.’
      • ‘Industrial production continued to plummet in September, the twelfth straight month of decline, according to a report issued earlier this week by the Federal Reserve.’
      • ‘After an early spike in share prices, they went on a downward slide that saw them plummet to half their value in the space of two years.’
      • ‘The hurricanes could trigger an economic downturn, as consumer confidence plummets and spending falls across the country.’
      • ‘And they plummeted to relegation on the back of five straight defeats at the end of the season, failing to hit the net in any of the last three.’
      • ‘In fact circulation plummeted, and when he learned that 80,000 readers had fallen away he knew the game was up.’
      • ‘Other residents expressed fears that the village's character would be ruined and house values would plummet.’
      • ‘Continuing uncertainty about the area's future meant land values had plummeted.’
      • ‘Some Wall Street firms warn the currency's value may plummet quickly.’
      fall sharply, fall steeply, plunge, tumble, decrease rapidly, drop rapidly, go down, sink, slump
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  • 1A steep and rapid fall or drop.

    • ‘I went in to watch the first half, and despite the central character's life going well, in the face adversity, I could sense a plummet in the second half.’
    • ‘The plummet in interest in religion was brought home last week when only one Catholic Priest was ordained in Northern Ireland for the year coming.’
    • ‘Evline couldn't even get a word in as her words were blown back into her throat by the massive plummet towards the ground, like a drop on a rollercoaster.’
    • ‘Somehow he has turned our headlong plummet into the sign of hope for the future.’
    • ‘His body was pushed back in the seat by the fall, the plummet sending his adrenaline running through his veins.’
    • ‘The building began it's plummet, falling forward.’
    • ‘Only one of the creatures lived past its plummet to the ground, staggering about and flapping its giant wings in an attempt to extinguish the bits of flame lapping at its skin.’
    • ‘Since when was dropping from ‘virtually nothing’ to ‘almost nothing at all’ constitute a plummet?’
    • ‘The elevator dropped fast, Roy swearing that he almost rose off of the floor with the plummet, and he wondered how far underground the Defense Monitoring room was.’
    • ‘We all sit as on a pin-point now, ready for a plummet into colder times - even if the climatic cliffs of fall, instead of being in seconds of time, are in thousands of years.’
    • ‘What I could really do with right now is a plummet in the Sterling / Dollar rate and then life would be so much better.’
    tumble, trip, spill, topple, stumble, slip
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  • 2A plumb or plumb line.

    • ‘With a heavy plummet, I plumb the depth and set the float so that about half the float's length is protruding above the surface.’
    • ‘All we are going to do is put a plummet on and lower it in, tight to the margins, turn sideways to drop it right in at the edge of the vegetation.’


Late Middle English (as a noun): from Old French plommet ‘small sounding lead’, diminutive of plomb ‘lead’. The current verb sense dates from the 1930s.