There are 2 main definitions of plumb in English:

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plumb1

Line breaks: plumb
Pronunciation: /plʌm
 
/

verb

[with object]
1Measure (the depth of a body of water): I plumbed the depth and found the bottom of the shelf to be seven metres down
More example sentences
  • Forget the normal fly fishing gear if you plan a trip after these monsters; the only effective method is to plumb the depths with a trolled and heavily - weighted spinner or live bait.
1.1 [no object, with adverbial] (Of water) be of a specified depth: at its deepest the lake scarcely plumbed seven feet
1.2Explore or experience fully or to extremes: she had plumbed the depths of depravity
More example sentences
  • For inspiration, he often plumbs his own everyday experiences.
  • The nineteenth-century prospector had been a rugged individual who explored wild mountains to plumb the mysteries hidden beneath.
  • These famous Rhine experiments made bold to plumb the hidden powers of the mind.
Synonyms
explore, probe, delve into, search, examine, investigate, scrutinize, inspect, sound out, go into, understand, fathom, get to the bottom of, penetrate, unravel
find, reach the lowest possible level, reach the lowest point, get down to the bottom, reach the nadir, experience the worst extremes, reach rock bottom
2Test (an upright surface) to determine the vertical: they are valuable aids in plumbing the frames and keeping the side of the ship fair
More example sentences
  • Place the panel snug into the corner as possible with a level on the opposite vertical edge to plumb the panel.
  • Once the post has been set into the base, it can be moved a little bit from side to side parallel with the two raised sides in order to simplify plumbing the post.
  • If so, you only need to install the casing on the opposite side after the jamb is plumbed, squared, and secured in the opening.

noun

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A ball of lead or other heavy object attached to the end of a line for finding the depth of water or determining the vertical on an upright surface.
Example sentences
  • He traces a line in white paint along the wall beyond the leaves, then drops a plumb from a cord stretched between two metal poles posted on either side of the tree.
  • Holding a target plumb is a very important worker skill when locating a layout point.

adverb

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1 informal Exactly: trading opportunities plumb in the centre of central Europe
More example sentences
  • In fact, Lyle had a 79 to finish plumb last, the only player in the field to be above 300 for the 72 holes.
  • The batsman plays and misses, and is hit on the pads plumb in front of the wicket.
  • Collymore decides that he wants to take a leg-bye and is struck plumb in front off an inswinger.
Synonyms
right, exactly, precisely, directly, dead, straight, without interruption
informal bang, slap, slap bang, smack
1.1 [as submodifier] North American Extremely or completely: they must both be plumb crazy
More example sentences
  • For example, somebody whom you just plumb don't like is naturally likely to be just as hard to like on the Interwebnet.
  • So I drove up to Manor Park Plaza to use the A.B.M., because I was plumb out of cash.
  • So, needless to say, just about everyone was plumb out of breath when they stopped a hundred yards from their target.
Synonyms
2 archaic Vertically: drapery fell from their human forms plumb down
More example sentences
  • He kept his eye on it and required adjustments to be made from time to time. He explained that the steel went up in two stages, firstly the first and second floors were erected and erected plumb.
  • You need to be able to hang your wallpaper plumb, even if the corners are not.
Synonyms

adjective

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1Vertical: ensure that the skirting is straight and plumb
More example sentences
  • In carpenter's heaven, all surfaces would be flat and straight, all vertical elements would be plumb and horizontal ones level, and all corners would be exact right angles.
  • If it is not plumb, a little more attention is needed.
  • Snap a plumb chalkline down the center of the stud to establish the position of the edge of the panel.
Synonyms
vertical, perpendicular, straight
1.1 Cricket (Of the wicket) level; true.
Example sentences
  • On the other side one of my friends lost his bet that England would win, so his stance is the umpire should be thanked for giving Browne a life as he was plumb lbw.
  • Gilly was given not out when he was plumb LBW and then cut loose to set up a comfortable Australian victory.
  • Kemp was plumb leg before to his first delivery.

Origin

Middle English (originally in the sense 'sounding lead'): via Old French from Latin plumbum 'lead'.

More
  • 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.

Phrases

out of plumb

1
Not exactly vertical: the towers are inclined, from four to ten feet out of plumb
More example sentences
  • If you find the doors' frames are too far out of plumb to fix by moving the hinges, a drastic, though not impossible, solution is to remove and re-hang the doorframes.
  • Joining two materials together usually leaves an uneven gap between them because one of the surfaces is out of plumb, is not level, or is irregularly shaped.
  • A common, and drastic, mistake in hanging wallpaper is to hang it out of plumb.

Definition of plumb in:

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There are 2 main definitions of plumb in English:

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plumb2

Line breaks: plumb
Pronunciation: /plʌm
 
/

verb

[with object] (plumb something in) British
1Install an appliance such as a bath, toilet, or washing machine and connect to water and drainage pipes: he had plumbed in a second-hand washing machine
More example sentences
  • Once all the water and air systems have been plumbed in and the exhaust system and electronic and electrical connectors added, the engine is fired up.
  • ‘Let's say that you have just bought a washing machine but you're having difficulty plumbing it in.’
  • It was obvious that, at some stage, this sink had been plumbed in.
Synonyms
install, put in, fit, put/set in place
1.1Install and connect water and drainage pipes in (a building or room): the kitchen is plumbed for a washing machine
More example sentences
  • The tiled utility room is plumbed for washer/dryer and houses the gas-fired boiler, which can control heating in individual zoned areas throughout the house.
  • A separate utility room is plumbed for a washer/dryer.
  • Stone and glass surround the dining area, while the utility room is plumbed for a washing machine and dryer.

Origin

late 19th century (in the sense 'work as a plumber'): back-formation from plumber.

More
  • 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.

Definition of plumb in:

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