Definition of plunger in English:



  • 1A device consisting of a rubber cup on a long handle, used to clear blocked pipes by means of water pressure.

    • ‘We have tried using a bucket of water and a plunger and finally are able to force everything down.’
    • ‘Get rid of the water in the tank by flushing, then bail out the water that is in the bowl using a plunger to force the rest of the water into the bowl, then mop it up with sponges.’
    • ‘She slid the needle into the flesh, and pressed the plunger.’
    • ‘Insert the plunger at an angle so no air is trapped under the cup.’
    • ‘In this case, the kitchen gully was stuffed with a mixture of liquid cooking oil and soap powder, which could easily have been unblocked by flushing with water or by using a plunger or rods.’
    • ‘Force as much water as possible out of traps with a plunger.’
    • ‘After plugging the overflow drain, use the plunger exactly as you would in opening an ordinary sink.’
    • ‘We headed home where we spent an enjoyable evening removing Italian Beef Casserole from the kitchen sink with a plunger.’
    • ‘A plunger is fine for clogs caused by excessive waste and tissue, but if you use one for other obstructions there is an added risk that you might simply move the object out of reach.’
    • ‘The meeting was told how he even allowed one Christmas Day to be interrupted to go and unblock a resident's toilet with his own plunger!’
    • ‘Barry owns what seems to be a relatively successful business which distributes specialty toilet plungers.’
    • ‘If it's a case of too much paper or other matter causing a stoppage, a plunger should work.’
    • ‘Take a suction cup plunger and pump it up and down directly over the clogged drain.’
    1. 1.1 A part of a device or mechanism that works with a plunging or thrusting movement.
      • ‘I was provided with the same sized mug as Ann and a spherical clear teapot, with a cafetière-like plunger.’
      • ‘Invert the syringe (point tip upwards) and slowly press the plunger to a level that pushed out any large air bubbles that may be present.’
      • ‘I may have to invest in a small coffee plunger, so I can froth my own milk.’
      • ‘When the gong and clappers on a doorbell unit or the plungers on a mechanical chime unit get dirty and dusty, dip a cotton swab in alcohol to clean them.’
      • ‘Just push a plunger, and the plug is mechanically locked in place.’
      • ‘The auto-disable mechanism works by locking the plunger of the syringe after a dosage has been given and automatically makes it impossible to reuse the syringe.’
      • ‘Hugo pressed the plunger of the coffee pot down carelessly.’
      • ‘She then dug around in it until she found a medical box and brought out a needle with a plunger, filling it with anesthetic.’
      • ‘This gardening tool is considered the best among all the garden shredders since it is available with a plunger for increased portability and built-in wheels.’
      • ‘Pull the plunger to draw into the syringe an amount of air equal to the amount of intermediate- or long-acting insulin you need.’
      • ‘He slowly depressed the plunger and once the syringe was empty, withdrew the needle and stepped back.’
      • ‘When the plunger is moved by means of a button or lever assembly at one end of the pin, the locking element retracts.’
      • ‘The owner of the first raffle ticket drawn will be invited to press the plunger on July 14 in front of a crowd of thousands.’
      • ‘Slowly depress the syringe plunger to begin feeding.’
      • ‘After pressing the plunger the lights across the city lit up as one.’
      • ‘I could instantly see how the tea was progressing, and the plunger kept the leaves out of the way until the pot was drained.’
      • ‘A new option for micromolders is an injection machine that replaces the traditional screw with a motor-driven plunger.’
      • ‘The pressure pad on top pushes down a plunger which detonates the explosive charge in the mine.’
      • ‘By that I meant to pull the emergency plunger to make the train brake sharply.’
  • 2informal A person who gambles or spends money recklessly.

    • ‘Our man braved the winter elements to report on the event and capture some of the plungers on camera.’
    • ‘Not often do plungers sprinkle their market fixations with references to Dante and Homer.’
    • ‘This was a race for the plungers, the speculators, the people who trade commodities and bet the house that the price of nutmeg will skyrocket.’
    backer, staker, speculator, risk-taker, better
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