Definition of plummet in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈplʌmɪt/

verb (plummets, plummeting, plummeted)

[no object]
1Fall or drop straight down at high speed: a climber was killed when he plummeted 300 feet down an icy gully
More example sentences
  • If he fell, he would plummet 60 feet straight down onto the jumble of boulders strewn at the base.
  • Without warning, he dropped straight down, plummeting toward the ground far below.
  • Requiring nerves of steel, speed sky diving involves plummeting from a plane at more than 300 mph.
plunge, fall headlong, hurtle, nosedive, dive, drop, crash, descend rapidly
1.1Decrease rapidly in value or amount: hardware sales plummeted
More example sentences
  • The sale was abruptly halted, the value of the painting plummeted and the they decided to sue.
  • 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.
  • 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.
fall steeply/sharply, plunge, tumble, drop/decrease rapidly, go down, sink, slump
informal crash, nosedive, take a nosedive


1A steep and rapid fall or drop: the bird has a circular display flight followed by an earthward plummet
More example sentences
  • His body was pushed back in the seat by the fall, the plummet sending his adrenaline running through his veins.
  • Somehow he has turned our headlong plummet into the sign of hope for the future.
  • The building began it's plummet, falling forward.
2A plumb or plumb line.
Example sentences
  • 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.

  • plumb from Middle English:

    You can say that something which is not quite perpendicular is out of plumb. This draws on the original meaning of plumb, a ball of lead attached to a string to determine a vertical line, or a plumb line. Another early use was as a term for a sounding lead used for measuring the depth of water. To plumb a body of water was to measure its depth in this way, and is the source of the phrase plumb the depths. The source of plumb is Latin plumbum ‘lead’, also the root of plumber. Medieval plumbers dealt in and worked with lead, and it was not until the 19th century that the word was applied solely to people trained in fitting and repairing water pipes, which were initially all made of lead. The Latin word plumbum is also the basis of plummet, which came into medieval English from Old French and then referred to a plumb line. The use of plummet as a verb meaning ‘to drop straight down rapidly, to plunge’ is more recent, first recorded in the 1850s. An early use of the verb was ‘to let a vertical line fall by means of a plummet’, and the modern sense developed from this. To do something with aplomb (late 18th century) comes from the French phrase à plomb, ‘straight as a plumb line’. Plunge (Late Middle English) also comes from plumbum, this time via Old French plungier ‘to thrust down’. The phrase take the plunge dates from the mid 19th century.

Words that rhyme with plummet


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: plum|met

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