plugger (n.) Look up plugger at Dictionary.com
1867, agent noun from plug (v.).
plum (n.) Look up plum at Dictionary.com
Old English plume "plum, plum tree," from an early Germanic borrowing (Middle Dutch prume, Dutch pruim, Old High German pfluma, pfruma, German Pflaume) from Vulgar Latin *pruna, from Latin prunum "plum," from Greek prounon, later form of proumnon, of unknown origin, perhaps from an Asiatic language (Phrygian?). Also see prune (n.). Change of pr- to pl- is peculiar to Germanic. The vowel shortened in early modern English. Meaning "something desirable" is first recorded 1780, probably in reference to the sugar-rich bits of a plum pudding, etc.
plumage (n.) Look up plumage at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "feathers," from Old French plumage "plumage, appearance" (14c.), from plume (see plume (n.)).
plumassier (n.) Look up plumassier at Dictionary.com
"dealer in ornamental feathers," from French plumassier, from Middle French plumasse "plume of feather," from plume (see plume).
plumb (n.) Look up plumb at Dictionary.com
"lead hung on a string to show the vertical line," early 14c., from Old French *plombe, plomee "sounding lead," and directly from Late Latin *plumba, originally plural of Latin plumbum "lead (the metal), lead ball; pipe; pencil," a word of unknown origin, related to Greek molybdos "lead" (dialectal bolimos) and perhaps from an extinct Mediterranean language, perhaps Iberian.
plumb (v.) Look up plumb at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "to sink" (like lead), from plumb (n.). Meaning "take soundings with a plumb" is first recorded 1560s; figurative sense of "to get to the bottom of" is from 1590s. Related: Plumbed; plumbing.
plumb (adj.) Look up plumb at Dictionary.com
"perpendicular, vertical," mid-15c., from plumb (n.). The notion of "exact measurement" led to extended sense of "completely, downright" (1748), sometimes spelled plump, plum, or plunk.
plumb-bob (n.) Look up plumb-bob at Dictionary.com
1835, from plumb (n.) + bob (n.1).
plumbago (n.) Look up plumbago at Dictionary.com
"graphite," 1784, from Latin plumbago "a type of lead ore, black lead," from plumbum "lead" (see plumb (n.)); it renders Greek molybdaina, which was used of yellow lead oxide and also of a type of plant (leadwort). Attested in English in the yellow oxide sense from 1610s; as a type of plant from 1747. Related: Plumbaginous.
plumber (n.) Look up plumber at Dictionary.com
late 14c. (from c.1100 as a surname), "a worker in any sort of lead" (roofs, gutters, pipes), from Old French plomier "lead-smelter" (Modern French plombier) and directly from Latin plumbarius "worker in lead," noun use of adjective meaning "pertaining to lead," from plumbum "lead" (see plumb (n.)). Meaning focused 19c. on "workman who installs pipes and fittings" as lead water pipes became the principal concern of the trade. In U.S. Nixon administration (1969-74), the name of a special unit for investigation of "leaks" of government secrets.
plumbic (adj.) Look up plumbic at Dictionary.com
"combined with lead," 1799, from Latin plumbum (see plumb (n.)) + -ic.
plumbing (n.) Look up plumbing at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "the weighting of a fishing line," verbal noun from plumb (v.). Specific meaning "water and drainage pipes" is recorded by 1875, American English.
THE apparatus by which the water from a reservoir is carried about over a building and delivered at points convenient for use, is called by the general name of plumbing. The word "plumbing" means lead-work; and it is used to signify this water apparatus of a house because the pipes of which it largely consists are usually made of lead. [Edward Abbott, "Long Look House: A Book for Boys and Girls," Boston, 1877]
Alternative plumbery also is mid-15c. Slang meaning "a person's reproductive organs" attested by 1975.
plumbo- Look up plumbo- at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "lead" (the metal), from comb. form of Latin plumbum "lead" (see plumb (n.)).
plumbous (adj.) Look up plumbous at Dictionary.com
1680s, "leaden;" 1854 in chemistry sense, "containing lead" (especially in a low valence), from Latin plumbosus "full of lead," from plumbum (see plumb (n.)).
plume (n.) Look up plume at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "a feather" (especially a large and conspicuous one), from Old French plume "soft feather, down; feather bed," and directly from Latin pluma "a feather, down; the first beard," from PIE root *pleus- "to pluck; a feather, fleece" (source of Old English fleos "fleece"). Meaning "a long streamer of smoke, etc." is first attested 1878.
plume (v.) Look up plume at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "to pluck, strip," from plume (n.). From mid-15c. as "to adorn with plumes." Meaning "to dress the feathers" is from 1702. Related: Plumed; pluming.
plumed (adj.) Look up plumed at Dictionary.com
"adorned with plumes," 1520s, past participle adjective from plume (v.).
plummet (n.) Look up plummet at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "ball of lead, plumb of a bob-line," from Old French plomet "graphite, lead; plummet, sounding lead," diminutive of plom "sounding lead" (see plumb (n.)).
plummet (v.) Look up plummet at Dictionary.com
1620s, "to fathom, take soundings," from plummet (n.). Meaning "to fall rapidly" first recorded 1933, perhaps originally among aviators. Related: Plummeted; plummeting.
plump (adj.) Look up plump at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "blunt, dull" (in manners), from Dutch plomp "blunt, thick, massive, stumpy," probably related to plompen "fall or drop heavily" (see plump (v.)). Meaning "fleshy, of rounded form" is from 1540s in English. Danish and Swedish plump "rude, coarse, clumsy" are from the Low German word and represent a different sense development.
plump (v.1) Look up plump at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "to fall or strike with a full impact," common Low German word, from or related to Middle Dutch and Dutch plompen, East Frisian plumpen, Middle Low German plumpen, probably more or less imitative of something hard striking something soft. Hence plump (n.) "a firm blow," in pugilism usually one to the stomach.
To plump; to strike, or shoot. I'll give you a plump in the bread basket, or the victualling office; I'll give you a blow in the stomach. [Grose, "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," London, 1785]



Or, even if any of them should suspect me, I know how to bring myself off. It is but pretending to be affronted, stripping directly, challenging him to fight, and before he can be on his guard, hitting him a plump in the bread-basket, that shall make him throw up his accounts; and I'll engage he will have but very little stomach to accuse me after. ["The Reverie: or A Flight to the Paradise of Fools," London, 1763]
plump (v.2) Look up plump at Dictionary.com
"to become plump," 1530s, from plump (adj.). Meaning "to plump (something) up, to cause to swell" is from 1530s. Related: Plumped; plumping.
plumpness (n.) Look up plumpness at Dictionary.com
1540s, from plump (adj.) + -ness.
plunder (n.) Look up plunder at Dictionary.com
"goods taken by force; act of plundering," 1640s, from plunder (v.).
plunder (v.) Look up plunder at Dictionary.com
1630s, from German plündern, from Middle High German plunderen "to plunder," originally "to take away household furniture," from plunder (n.) "household goods, clothes," also "lumber, baggage" (14c.; compare Modern German Plunder "lumber, trash"), which is related to Middle Dutch plunder "household goods;" Frisian and Dutch plunje "clothes." A word acquired by English via the Thirty Years War and applied in native use after the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642. Related: Plundered; plundering. Plunderbund was a U.S. colloquial word from 1914 referring to "a corrupt alliance of corporate and financial interests," with German Bund "alliance, league."
plunge (v.) Look up plunge at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "to put or thrust violently into," also intransitive, from Old French plongier "plunge, sink into; plunge into, dive in" (mid-12c., Modern French plonger), from Vulgar Latin *plumbicare "to heave the lead," from Latin plumbum "lead" (see plumb (n.)). Original notion perhaps is of a sounding lead or a fishing net weighted with lead. Related: Plunged; plunging. Plunging neckline attested from 1949.
plunge (n.) Look up plunge at Dictionary.com
c.1400, "deep pool," from plunge (v.). From late 15c. as "a sudden pitch forward;" meaning "act of plunging" is from 1711. Figurative use in take the plunge "commit oneself" is from 1845, from earlier noun sense of "point of being in trouble or danger" (1530s).
plunger (n.) Look up plunger at Dictionary.com
1610s, "one who plunges," agent noun from plunge (v.). As a mechanism, 1777.
plunk (v.) Look up plunk at Dictionary.com
1805, "to pluck a stringed instrument;" 1808 in sense of "drop down abruptly;" 1888 as "to hit, wound, shoot." Probably of imitative origin in all cases. Related: Plunked; plunking.
pluperfect (adj.) Look up pluperfect at Dictionary.com
1520s, shortened from Latin (tempus praeteritum) plus (quam) perfectum "(past tense) more (than) perfect." Translates Greek khronos hypersyntelikos. See plus and perfect.
plural (adj.) Look up plural at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French plurel "more than one" (12c., Modern French pluriel), from Latin pluralis "of or belonging to more than one," from plus (genitive pluris) "more" (see plus). The noun meaning "a plural number" is from late 14c.
pluralism (n.) Look up pluralism at Dictionary.com
1818, as a term in church administration, from plural + -ism. Attested from 1882 as a term in philosophy for a theory which recognizes more than one ultimate principle. In political science, attested from 1919 (in Harold J. Laski) in sense "theory which opposes monolithic state power." General sense of "toleration of diversity within a society or state" is from 1933. Related: Pluralist (1620s, in the church sense); pluralistic.
plurality (n.) Look up plurality at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "state of being plural," from Old French pluralite (14c.), from Late Latin pluralitatem (nominative pluralitas), from Latin pluralis (see plural). Meaning "fact of there being many, multitude" is from mid-15c. Church sense of "holding of two or more offices concurrently" is from mid-14c. Meaning "greater number, more than half" is from 1570s but is etymologically improper, perhaps modeled on majority. U.S. sense of "excess of votes over rival candidate(s)," especially when none has an absolute majority, is from 1828.
pluri- Look up pluri- at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "more than one, several, many," from Latin pluri-, from stem of plus (genitive pluris); see plus.
pluripotential (adj.) Look up pluripotential at Dictionary.com
1925, from pluri- + potential. Related: Pluripotent; pluripotency.
plus (n.) Look up plus at Dictionary.com
1570s, the oral rendering of the arithmetical sign +, from Latin plus "more, in greater number, more often" (comparative of multus "much"), altered (by influence of minus) from *pleos, from PIE *pele- (1) "to fill" (see poly-).

As a preposition, between two numbers to indicate addition, from 1660s. [Barnhart writes that this sense "did not exist in Latin and probably originated in commercial language of the Middle Ages."] Placed after a whole number to indicate "and a little more," it is attested from 1902. As a conjunction, "and," it is American English colloquial, attested from 1968. As a noun meaning "an advantage" from 1791. Plus fours (1921) were four inches longer in the leg than standard knickerbockers, to produce an overhang, originally a style associated with golfers. The plus sign itself has been well-known since at least late 15c. and is perhaps an abbreviation of Latin et (see et cetera).
plus ca change Look up plus ca change at Dictionary.com
1903, French, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose (1849), literally "the more it changes, the more it stays the same."
plush (adj.) Look up plush at Dictionary.com
"swank, luxurious," 1927, from plush (n.). Plushy in this sense is recorded from 1923. Related: Plushly; plushness.
plush (n.) Look up plush at Dictionary.com
"soft fabric," 1590s, from Middle French pluche "shag, plush," contraction of peluche "hairy fabric," from Old French peluchier "to pull, to tug, to pluck" (the final process in weaving plush), from Vulgar Latin *piluccare "remove hair" (see pluck (v.)). Related: Plushy; plushness.
plutarchy (n.) Look up plutarchy at Dictionary.com
"plutocracy," 1640s, from Greek ploutos "wealth" (see Pluto) + -archy.
Pluto (n.) Look up Pluto at Dictionary.com
Roman god of the underworld, brother of Zeus and Neptune, from Latin Pluto, Pluton, from Greek Plouton "god of wealth," literally "wealth, riches," probably originally "overflowing," from PIE *pleu- "to flow" (see pluvial). The planet (since downgraded) was discovered 1930 by C.W. Tombaugh; Minerva also was suggested as a name for it. The cartoon dog first appeared in Walt Disney's "Moose Hunt," released April 1931.
plutocracy (n.) Look up plutocracy at Dictionary.com
1650s, from Greek ploutokratia "rule or power of the wealthy or of wealth," from ploutos "wealth" (see Pluto) + -kratia "rule" (see -cracy). Synonym plutarchy is slightly older (1640s). Pluto-democracy "plutocracy masquerading as democracy" is from 1895.
plutocrat (n.) Look up plutocrat at Dictionary.com
"person who rules by his wealth," 1838, back-formation from plutocracy. Related: Plutocratic (1843); plutocratical (1833).
plutogogue (n.) Look up plutogogue at Dictionary.com
"spokesman for plutocrats," 1894, from Greek ploutos "wealth" + ending from demagogue.
plutolatry (n.) Look up plutolatry at Dictionary.com
"worship of wealth," 1889, from Greek ploutos "wealth" (see Pluto) + -latry. Related: Plutolater.
plutomania (n.) Look up plutomania at Dictionary.com
1650s, "mad pursuit of wealth," from Greek ploutos "wealth" (see Pluto) + mania. As "imaginary possession of wealth" from 1894. Related: Plutomaniac.
Plutonian (adj.) Look up Plutonian at Dictionary.com
1660s, "pertaining to the god Pluto," from Latin Plutonius, from Greek Ploutonius, from Plouton "pertaining to Pluto" (see Pluto). Geological sense is from 1828 (see plutonic). Planetary sense by 1952.
plutonic (adj.) Look up plutonic at Dictionary.com
"pertaining to or involving intense heat deep in the earth's crust," 1796, coined by Irish scientist Richard Kirwin (1733-1812) from comb. form of Pluto (as god of the underworld) + -ic. Especially in reference to early 19c. geological theory (championed by Hutton) that attributed most of the earth's features to action of internal heat, a theory which triumphed over its rival, neptunism, which attributed them to water. Related: Plutonism; Plutonist.
plutonium (n.) Look up plutonium at Dictionary.com
transuranic element, 1942, from Pluto, the planet, + element ending -ium. Discovered at University of California, Berkeley, in 1941, the element named on suggestion of Seaborg and Wahl because it follows neptunium in the periodic table as Pluto follows Neptune in the Solar System. The name plutonium earlier had been proposed for barium and was sometimes used in this sense early 19c.
plutonomic (adj.) Look up plutonomic at Dictionary.com
"of or pertaining to the science or study of wealth or riches," 1853, from comb. form of Greek ploutos "wealth" (see Pluto) + ending from economic. Fell from currency 1870s, revived 1990s. Related: Plutonomics (1991); plutonomist (1869).