Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

plunge - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb plunge pronunciation in American English /plʌndʒ/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleplunging
past tenseplunged
past participleplunged
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to fall quickly from a high position

    It was still dark when the helicopter plunged 500 feet into the ocean.

    His car had plunged off the mountain road in heavy rain.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to make someone or something fall quickly from a high position

      The wind suddenly shifted and they were both plunged off the cliff.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to suddenly put someone or something in a much less successful situation, or to be suddenly put in such a situation

    A string of recent defeats has plunged the team dangerously near the bottom of the table.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] if an amount or level plunges, it suddenly becomes much lower

    The temperature is expected to plunge below zero tonight.

  4. 4
    [transitive] American to push a plunger into a toilet, sink, or bathtub in order to stop a pipe from being blocked
  5. 5
    [intransitive/transitive] to move quickly in an uncontrolled way, or to make someone or something move in this way

    He plunged toward the door and wrenched it open.

    1. a.
      [intransitive] if a ship plunges, it moves up and down on water in an uncontrolled way

Open Dictionary


the activity of exploring abandoned buildings and other manmade structures

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play